This convoluted first book in the Strange Truth series follows teenage outcasts Benny Flax and Virginia Leeds, the sole members of Winship Academy’s Mystery Club, as they investigate the suspicious death of a classmate, Brittany Montague. When a school-mascot-costume-clad Brittany flees the Friday night football game, runs into the woods, and plunges off a bridge into a ravine, everyone assumes that it’s a suicide. Benny and Virginia are dubious, though, and while the police search Atlanta’s Chattahoochee River for a corpse, the detecting duo unearths evidence suggesting that Brittany was murdered. There’s a lot more going on at Winship Academy than meets the eye, and Benny and Virginia soon realize that unless they catch the killer, no one is safe. Thrash (Honor Girl) squanders an intriguing setup with cartoonish characters, preposterous plot twists, and an unsatisfying conclusion. Any warmth or depth conferred by Benny and Virginia’s unlikely friendship is undermined by the flippancy with which Thrash tackles such topics as stalking, rape, death, and child pornography. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2016 Release date: 10/04/2016 Genre: Children's
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