Aaron Starmer. Dutton, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7352-3192-4
Starmer (Spontaneous) crafts a neo-noir-flavored revenge thriller that stabs at the heart of 21st-century isolation. Murdered by ex-girlfriend Meeka and her three teenage compatriots, Cole lies buried in a 100-acre Vermont backyard. After Cole began threatening violence against his former flame and her friends, Meeka, together with Holly, Logan, and Grayson, did what they felt was necessary to keep themselves safe. Though the three filmed their confession (“He had access to guns. He was great at hiding things”) on long-unused phones now entombed alongside Cole, things unravel quickly when a meme makes the rounds at school—one featuring a photograph that could only have come from one of the devices. Is one of the group trying to torture the others, or is Cole not as dead as assumed? Starmer swipes at what white privilege, toxic masculinity, and lonely anger can produce in the internet’s dark corners; though a few ends remain loose and the social commentary isn’t always incisive, a tense, revolving first-person narrative propels the reader through an absorbing scheme-gone-wrong mystery. Ages 14–up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/30/2020
Release date: 09/08/2020
Genre: Children's
Discover what to read next