cover image Secrets Never Die

Secrets Never Die

Vincent Ralph. Wednesday, $24 (368p) ISBN 978-1-2508-8213-4; $12 paper ISBN 978-1-2508-8215-8

Seventeen-year-old Sam Hall—a former child TV star with a haunted past—has just arrived at his friend Dom’s annual Halloween party when he and some classmates, including his girlfriend and Dom’s sister, vacate the festivities and head into the woods. Every year, the tight-knit group engages in a secret ritual at the Dark Place, an abandoned shack in the forest: one by one, they enter the structure alone and confess a secret they’ve been hiding. While Sam is inside the Dark Place, he hears a terrible scream, and exits the shack to find that it’s been pelted with blood-filled eggs. After the group returns to Dom’s house, they begin receiving creepy text messages from someone named Sasha Craven (“Don’t be shy. I just want to be friends”). They dismiss the occurrence and move on from that night. But Sam wrestles with a feeling of constantly being watched, and when the unsettling texts evolve into threatening messages about each of the teens’ darkest secrets, cracks begin forming in the group’s once-solid friendships. Ralph (Lock the Doors) relies on familiar thriller tropes to craft a fast-paced mystery steeped in malevolent atmosphere. Most characters are white. Ages 13–up. (Aug.)