Life, death and suspicion in the pressure cooker of high-stakes teen athletics.
Siblings Lindsey and Micah, premiere teen athletes, look forward to lives of athletic greatness: the 2012 London Summer Olympics in track and field for Lindsey and a major league pitching career for Micah. Lindsey is especially focused, maintaining excellent grades and working closely with Coach Kelley—herself a (nonmedaling) Olympian—while Micah struggles a bit academically and is content to bask in Lindsey’s reflected glow. Lindsey’s murder crushes her family’s dreams, casting amnesia-stricken Micah and their cagey father as prime suspects. Micah has lost his entire memory of the day of Lindsey’s death, and he both fears and distrusts his father’s attempts to help him recover it. As Lindsey’s secrets unravel and Micah’s memories of Lindsey’s last afternoon alive slowly return to him, red herrings pile up, but ultimately only Micah—so tormented by the idea that he might have killed the sister he loved and admired that he resorts to increasingly drastic methods of self-cutting—is sufficiently three-dimensional to inspire the page-turning mix of reader sympathy and suspicion essential to a good thriller’s success. When the murderer is ultimately revealed, the result is not so much a satisfying clicking into place of clues carefully planted in past chapters as a shrug-inducing narrative thud.
Readers looking for a twisty, satisfying mystery should look elsewhere. (Mystery. 12-15)