So I think I’ve decided that thrillers set before cell phones and Internet research work well. It’s a lot easier to accept that someone going missing might just be them out on a walk if they can’t be reached by text message. As this book was written in 1986, it makes sense that when, say, one member of the group disappears, it’s totally reasonable that she’s just gone somewhere else. Or when someone seems suspicious, it makes sense to just feel things out, because you can’t exactly Google them to see if their story checks out.
I definitely remember reading this book when I was younger. So it’s hard for me to say whether the book is super predictable, or it was predictable because somewhere in my mind I remembered what happened when I read it 20 years ago or so. The premise is a bunch of high school ‘friends’ (in Mr. Pike’s world, young women always seem to be more like frenemies than true friends) go to a giant house in a ski area for a weekend away from their parents. Skiing and meeting boys are the two main objectives. Oh, and one other thing – Nell, the one whose parents own the house, was burned during a freak accident about eight years prior, when the same group of girls were together at a sleepover. Nell’s younger sister Nicole was killed in that same accident.
Nell’s face was pretty badly burned, so there’s that underlying issue. And of course her dead sister (although she is apparently rarely discussed). There’s Rachel, who is blond and gorgeous (but also mean, because of course); Mindy, Rachel’s dim-witted friend who chews a lot of gun (excellent character development); Dawn, who is a bit pudgy (again, that’s about all we get); and Lara, whose third person perspective is the view we get in the book. Lara and Dawn are clearly close, as are Mindy and Rachel. Lara also brings along Celeste, a new girl at school who is a couple of years younger than the girls.
Things happen. Lara and Rachel end up interested in the same guy, Percy, who is friends with Cal, a guy who apparently got way too fresh with Dawn when they were alone together. There is a party, there is a disappearance, and there is the fear of murder.
When the twist comes, you will either go DUH, saw it coming from a mile away, or you will smack yourself because you SHOULD have seen it coming a mile away. This is not Shakespeare, it is not deep, there is not any sort of serious character development. But it was fun to read on the elliptical this morning.