Ink and Ashes

Valynne E. Maetani. Lee & Low/Tu, $19.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-62014-211-0
Maetani debuts with a tense thriller revolving around family secrets and betrayals. Claire Takata’s father died of a heart attack 10 years ago, or so the 16-year-old and her brothers have been led to believe. When Claire comes across a letter in her father’s journal, she learns that he knew the man her mother married after he died. Confused about why this information would have been kept secret, Claire and her brothers piece together clues that lead them to discover that their father was involved with the yakuza, and that his death may not have been quite so accidental. Meanwhile, Claire is being plagued by strange events at school and followed by a black SUV. Claire’s emotionally charged letters to her late father, written at various ages, appear throughout, providing an intimate window into her thoughts and fears. Capable and curious, Claire makes for an enterprising, resourceful young sleuth, and her changing relationship with her friend Forrest adds an enticing undercurrent of romance amid the growing intrigue and suspense. Ages 12–up. Agent: John M. Cusick, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/22/2015
Release date: 05/01/2015
Genre: Children's
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