cover image Lockdown


Laurie R. King. Bantam, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-0-804177-93-1

Heavy-handed foreshadowing mars this thriller about a shooting that occurs on career day at California’s Guadalupe Middle School from Edgar-winner King (Keeping Watch): “Students will be given the raw materials for their life’s plan, and shown the means to turn it into their life’s tapestry.... But today, the weaving of dreams will unravel long before the final bell”; “the midday sun will be sparkling off a thread of blood oozing down the center of the concrete quad.” The lead-up to the tragic events is presented from multiple perspectives, including those of various school staff members and students, as well as that of police sergeant Olivia Mendez, a speaker who was almost murdered by a gang member at the previous year’s career day. King uses extensive flashbacks to provide the backstories for her characters, but these don’t provide much depth. A subplot concerning the unsolved disappearance of a sixth-grade girl the previous fall adds little, and the end result is a superficial treatment of a serious issue. [em]Agent: Zoe Elkaim. (June) [/em]

Correction: An earlier version of this review listed the wrong literary agent.