cover image The Mystery of Hollow Places

The Mystery of Hollow Places

Rebecca Podos. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-0623-7334-

When Immy Scott’s father, a mystery writer, tells his daughter the story of his marriage and, later, her mother’s abandonment, he says, “The women in that family were cursed. They could be lonely wherever they were. But not us, Immy. We have each other.” Despite a therapist stepmother always asking questions and a father prone to bipolar episodes, high school senior Immy and her dad are inseparable—until he disappears on Valentine’s Day. Using methods from her father’s detective books and tips from a host of mystery greats, Immy attempts to track down her mother in hopes of finding her father. With the help of best friend Jessa, Immy crawls through hospital records, interviews long-forgotten neighbors, and discovers that the stories told about her parents are just as fictional as her father’s bestsellers. Debut author Podos makes capable use of believable characters and addictive clues to keep readers guessing. Through Immy’s preoccupation with du Maurier’s Rebecca, Podos provides the stirring thematic core of the novel—that obsession with the past can be its own form of dangerous curse. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Lana Popovic, Chalberg & Sussman. (Jan.) [/em]