cover image The Masked Truth

The Masked Truth

Kelley Armstrong. Doubleday Canada, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-385-68475-0

Armstrong (the Age of Legends trilogy) specializes in the unexpected in this terrifying thriller where suspense and psychological horror serve as perfect counterpoints to themes of forgiveness and growth. Riley Vasquez was settling in for a night of babysitting when a deadly crime was committed in the house. She survives, but nightmares and guilt leave her a shadow of her former self. In an effort to return to who she was before the tragedy, Riley agrees to attend a weekend therapy camp held in a renovated warehouse. Max Cross shares a therapy group with her, though they don’t interact much. His dark secret and sarcastic attitude keep him from getting close to anyone, yet when the camp attendees are taken hostage by three masked men, Riley and Max must dig deep to trust each other in order to escape the warehouse. Masterful storytelling, particularly in the setup and execution of a plot overflowing with twists, and edge-of-the-seat mystery provide spine-tingling chills, and while Armstrong doesn’t shy from violence, it isn’t gratuitous. Ages 14–up. Agent: Helen Heller, Helen Heller Agency. (Oct.)