Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mystery Thriller Pick: Ten

Ten
by Gretchen McNeil
Balzer + Bray
2012
294 pages

Creepy, chilling, cunning, and clever, Ten is a knockout mystery.

BFFs Meg and Minnie are sneaking off for a weekend of partying on a remote island off the coast of Washington. They get an invitation from popular girl Jessica and can't wait to have a blast without the watchful eyes of adults. The ferry deposits the girls on Henry Island and promises to come back for them Monday. The girls scan the beach and see two figures walking toward them.

T.J. Fletcher and new guy Ben help the girls find White Rock House where the party is supposed to be in full swing. They are fearful of the rickety land bridge they have to cross through rough surf but have no choice but to use it. Other kids are already at the house.

Ten is the new teen answer to Agatha Christie's classic And Then There Were None. The kids play a DVD they find and it's chilling. It contains cryptic messages and ends with "Vengence is mine." The kids are understandably spooked, but when a severe winter storm knocks out the electricity and Internet; they can't get cell reception as the island is too far from any cell towers. Cut off from the world and stuck together on a deserted island in the dark puts them all on edge.

As the bodies start piling up, the kids come to the conclusion that there is a killer in their midst and everyone becomes a suspect. T.J. and Meg form a close alliance due to their past "near" romance; Meg tries to keep her distance because she knows that her BFF Minnie is in love with T.J. Meg is always looking out for Minnie's feelings and well-being. Minnie is on bi-polar meds, but when they disappear, Meg knows Minnie may flip out.

The storm knocks out the footbridge, so now they are cut off from the other side of the island. They will have to weather the storm alone stranded with a malevolent killer. T.J. and Meg brave the elements to check out the boathouse. There is a boat, but the radio has been stripped from it and the keys to the boat are missing. Someone took the radio and the keys!

Who will survive? And who is the killer? Why is the killer after them? Can Meg save Minnie from a total meltdown? Can they outlast the storm?

Highly recommended grade 9-up. Some language, some talk of sex and cheating, murder.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)



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