cover image The Naturals

The Naturals

Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Hyperion, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4231-6823-2

In an intense CSI-type thriller, Barnes (Nobody) lets readers inside the mind of 17-year-old Cassie Hobbes, a “Natural” profiler with the uncanny ability to piece together an individual’s motives, backgrounds, and patterns of behavior. After her mother’s gruesome abduction, and with her father overseas, Cassie is recruited for a special FBI program for teens like her to help solve cold cases. Cassie immediately realizes that being a Natural may be more than she bargained for, and her fellow gifted teens take getting used to, including Michael, an emotional expert who seems fascinated with Cassie’s, and Dean, who just looks pissed off—mostly at her. Barnes is in her wheelhouse with this story of keenly powered teens and covert ops, and she provides an enticing inside look at the world of crime-solving through Cassie’s hyperaware eyes. Cassie’s pursuit by an unknown serial killer keeps things tense, as do creepy narratives from the killer. Barnes shows every card at just the right moment, catching readers off-guard at the final reveal. It’s a stay-up-late-to-finish kind of book, and it doesn’t disappoint. Ages 12–up. Agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (Nov.)