My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this thriller/mystery novel. I decided to read it because the word of mouth reviews from my students were all very positive. Kane and Roberts use lots of interesting devices to keep interest high including police interview transcripts; newspaper reports and of course the email relationship between Celia and Alice.
Hallie Knight is missing and Celia and Alice are connnected by their concern about her whereabouts and fate. Celia goes to a school in Hallie’s neighbourhood and Alice has friends who know Hallie, but Alice herself is at boarding school in Mildura. The two girls strike up an online friendship bound by their interest in the case. It soon transpires that whilst the girls have different family situations, there are also similarities too and they quickily becomne firm friends.
When Hallie is found after several weeks, the mystery only deepens as she describes her abductor and the police try to track him down.
All the while, Alice and Celia grow closer, bonding over the circumstances and details of the case, as well as sharing the innermost workings of each other’s lives. As the police narrow-in on their prime suspect, Alice and Celia start making plans to meet up in person and turn their friendship into a going concern as Alice has been allowed to come home from boarding school for good.
I can’t say anymore as it will be full of spoilers, but I can tell you I saw the ending coming from miles away. This is more due to my wide expereince of crime thrillers rather than any flaw in the narrative, and I completely understand how swept up and involved younger readers would become in this story. Alice and Celia are likeable characters and you are quickly drawn into their developing friendship.
The ending is satisfying, however, and I look forward to the next offering from Kane and Roberts, particularly if it is in this genre. I would love to see this made as a series by someone like ABC3. I would certainly watch it, even knowing the outcome, because I think it would make fantastic television.
Highly recommended for ages 13 and up, and especially for girls who love their emails and online chatter.