The Sixes

Kate White. Harper, $24.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-157662-1

Cosmo editor-in-chief White's prose—like a brisk walk through a tree-lined campus in autumn—is perfectly suited to the setting and tone of this stand-alone mystery thriller about mean girl games run amok. Disgraced celebrity tell-all author Phoebe Hall wants nothing more than to leave Manhattan for the peaceful asylum of Lyle College in rural Pennsylvania, where Lyle's president and her best friend from boarding school, Glenda Johns, has offered her a teaching job. But when Glenda asks Phoebe to look into rumors of a secret sorority known as the Sixes and a possible link to a missing coed, the idea of asylum takes on an ominously different meaning. White (Hush) ratchets up the chills as Phoebe starts to find little things, like six apples, left at her house that she takes to be attempts to frighten her. Undaunted, Phoebe persists in her investigation. Great pacing and plausible characterization with only a smidgen of forgivable contrivance make this a worthy end-of-summer beach read. Author tour. (Aug.)
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