Kate Cann, Author Scholastic/Point $16.99 (327p) ISBN 978-0-545-12812-4

In this spooky mystery, Rayne Peters and her family live in a tiny apartment in East London, part of a decayed urban development where troublemakers thrive and expectations are low. Needing to break away from the sticky summer, her possessive boyfriend, and her uncertain future, Rayne accepts a live-in tearoom job at Morton’s Keep, a manor far from home. There’s an ominous aura of power around the Keep, and Rayne often feels like she’s being watched. Rituals are being performed in the woods; she discovers talismans and black candles strewn about outdoors; and Rayne’s new friends seem a little too interested in the Keep’s bloody history. Rayne’s gritty London life is so far removed from the magical paganism of the deep countryside that it feels like an entirely different world, highlighting how far Rayne is out of her comfort zone, particularly as she’s drawn into a consuming new relationship. Cann (Mediterranean Holiday ) persuasively uses that disquiet to shape an unsettling sense of menace and a creepy atmosphere. Unanswered questions pave the way for a sequel, available in the U.K. Ages 14–up. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/11/2010
Release date: 02/01/2010
Paperback - 327 pages - 978-0-545-12813-1
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