Pollock (Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles, 2018, etc.) takes the unreliable narrator to the extreme as an anxiety-ridden teen tries to elude deadly spies in this British import.
While Pete’s panic attacks are unpredictable, he finds the predictable patterns of mathematics soothing. And while he’s often the object of bullying in their London school, his adventurous, rebellious twin sister, Bel, serves as his protector. The white teen’s also found camaraderie with Ingrid, an obsessive-compulsive classmate who is a fellow math genius. After a difficult panic attack, Pete reluctantly agrees to attend an award ceremony for his single mother, a notable scientist. Instead of accolades, however, his mother receives a potentially fatal stab wound. As they are whisked away by a dubious team of rescuers, Pete learns that this team really consists of spies known as 57 (even more covert than MI6) and that his mother’s scientific research is part of their operation. He also learns that Bel has gone missing. These shocking revelations are just the start of unrelenting twists and turns that continue as Pete relies on various math theories and Ingrid’s help to escape and hunt for Bel before 57 takes all of their lives. Chapters that alternate between past and present eventually merge together to provide more clues. Or do they?
Even the last page will keep readers wondering if there’s truth to the title. (Thriller. 14-18)