cover image The Incident on the Bridge

The Incident on the Bridge

Laura McNeal. Knopf, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-375-87079-8

California’s sun and sand harbor dark secrets in this creepy thriller from National Book Award finalist McNeal (Dark Water). When 17-year-old Thisbe Locke disappears, her family is mystified. Thisbe is a “good girl”—studious, not preoccupied with boys, and determined to get into a good college. Unfortunately, Clay Moorehead, a boy known for treating girls as disposable commodities, sets his sights on her, leaving her fortune cookies with cute messages; after he gets what he wants, he drops her. Humiliated and sad, Thisbe lets her grades suffer and becomes withdrawn. In the wake of her disappearance, there are whispers of suicide, but Thisbe’s younger sister, Ted, knows better, and undertakes her own search. McNeal tells this absorbing story from multiple perspectives—Thisbe, her family, law enforcement, Clay and his best friend Jerome, and even a possible witness—resulting in fully realized characters with different motivations and goals. While what happens to Thisbe is revealed almost immediately, McNeal writes with a mature hand, expert pacing, and an immediacy that ensures readers will be engrossed. Ages 12–up. Agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Apr.)