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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 248
Themes: murder, small towns, rumor, suspicion, Alzheimer's, love, loyalty, death
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/09/2014
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In the depths of winter, a woman wanders off in the snow. She is a popular former teacher and wife of a local policeman. A full-blown search begins.

Meanwhile, Derek is staying with his new girlfriend and her parents while his family is out of town. He can’t believe his luck—Jordie is the hottest girl in school, and he’s going out with her. When Ronan, school bad boy and Jordie’s ex-boyfriend, shows up, Jordie decides that maybe Derek isn’t the one after all. But before she can end it with him, Derek disappears. Did he run away? Or did something happen to him? Is there a connection between the two disappearances? As Jordie slowly starts unraveling the truth, she finds that nothing about that night is as it seems. When she finds Derek’s body, suspicion falls on her. And then on Ronan. But Jordie knows she didn’t kill Derek. And she is sure Ronan didn’t. So who is responsible? And why was Derek marked for death?

Library Media Connection - March 1, 2015
"This teen thriller includes suspense, mystery, and intrigue...Jordie’s actions are true to life and will resonate with readers."
The Calgary Herald - January 10, 2015
"[An] intriguing whodunit...The story is well-paced and entices the reader to find out the truth."
VOYA - December 1, 2014
"There is plenty of action during the investigation, though the pacing puts most of the tension near the end with the plot twist. The ending allows the reader to make up his or her own mind about what truly happened that night...The action, untrustworthy main characters, and short chapters will keep readers turning the pages of this mystery."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books - December 1, 2014
"McClintock spins the tale and its readers off to a messy and deliciously troubling conclusion that will confound many expectations. Scenes focalized through a single character’s perspective enrich the cast personalities, and Jordie’s emotional tug-of-war between late good guy Derek and live brooding Ronan adds a dash of romantic angst. Love and murder: a great combination for teen reading on a cold winter’s night."
Quill & Quire - December 1, 2014
"Derek becomes such a fully rounded character that the reader comes to feel his absence as acutely as if they knew him. When the resolution arrives...it is surprising and satisfying, the hallmark of a well-written mystery."
Resource Links - October 1, 2014
"A suspenseful, fast-moving mystery that will hook readers from the very first page...The novel moves like a film, cutting rapidly from scene to scene and character to character. The text is masterfully executed, with all the hints and red herrings a good mystery should offer...The romantic conflicts at the centre of the novel may draw in YA readers who wouldn't normally read a mystery, and the breakneck pace should keep them engaged. Avid mystery fans may connect the plot details before the characters themselves do, but even then various twists and turns will keep readers guessing right up to the last sentence and maybe after. Norah McClintock is a talented writer, and this taut, deftly plotted novel is an excellent choice for mystery readers, readers who prefer a high-action plot, and anyone who enjoys a well- told story."
CM Magazine - September 12, 2014
"A fast-paced read that will hold readers’ attention from beginning to end, and perhaps leave them with questions they didn’t expect."
Booklist Online - September 10, 2014
"McClintock avoids the usual patterns of murder mysteries, relying on detailed and believable characterizations that round out the plentiful plot twists. When she does employ a frequently used device, the characters often comment on it ironically, bringing the reader into the joke. Mystery fans will appreciate the thoughtful plotting, the complex characters, and an ambiguous ending that guarantees readers will be mulling over the story long after they finish. Of special note are the descriptions of landscape and weather: cold, forbidding, and characters in themselves, with their own secrets and dangers."
Kirkus Reviews - September 1, 2014
"[The characters'] mature speech, combined with plenty of adult characters, makes this a great crossover novel. The present-tense narration helps keep the mystery taut with concise pacing. A classic whodunit."
In the Violet-Grey Room blog - August 9, 2014
"Exciting and intriguing from the very beginning."
All Book Reviewer blog - July 27, 2014
"Fast, fun, and surprising!"

Awards

CCBC Best Books  | 2015 | Commended
Arthur Ellis Award nominee  | 2015 | Short-listed
Silver Falchion Award nominee  | 2015 | Short-listed
John Spray Mystery Award finalist  | 2015 | Short-listed

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