cover image The Body in the Woods

The Body in the Woods

April Henry. Holt, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9852-5

Three Oregon high school students help the local police by volunteering with Portland Search and Rescue in this fast-paced kickoff to Henry’s Point Last Seen series. Alexis is sweet and suffering (her mentally ill mother requires lots of care). Ruby is smart, socially awkward, and obsessed with true crime. Nick has a hero complex; he wants to impress girls with his police work. While searching for an autistic man in the woods, they find the body of girl their age. Ruby is sure it’s the work of a serial killer, and she enlists Alexis and Nick to help find the culprit. Henry (The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die) is well within her wheelhouse with this tense mystery, which can read a bit like a throwback to “teen detective” novels from decades past. The author’s expertise at plotting a murder mystery and knowledge of police procedure are evident as the novel moves through all the expected moments of a TV crime drama, building to a violent confrontation. Ages 12–up. Agent: Wendy Schmalz, Wendy Schmalz Agency. (June)