Synopses & Reviews
Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she wasn't
prepared for her brother's suicide, and his death has left her shattered with grief. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, not suicide, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna's brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, who also lost a brother to apparent suicide that year, has helped her find some answers.
As the three dig deeper, disturbing facts begin to pile up: one boy killed every year; all older brothers; all had spent New Year's Eve in the idyllic town of Summerton. But when their search for the serial killer takes an unexpected turn, suspicion is cast on those they trust the most.
As secrets shatter around them, can they save the next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?
"Healey (Guardian of the Dead) delivers an intense and powerful novel that explores the effect of suicide on families by way of a magical conspiracy tale. In the small New Zealand tourist town of Summerton, 17-year-old Keri is contending with the unexplained suicide of her beloved older brother, Jake. When her childhood friend Janna whose brother killed himself years earlier tells her there might a reason for Jake's death, Keri slowly starts believing what she hears from Janna and a boy named Sione: once a year, a teenage boy visiting the village (or occasionally a native son) is compelled to kill himself. They discover that the killings might be connected to the town's history, and as they get closer to the truth, they are threatened by magic aimed directly at them and at their friends, and left uncertain whom to trust. Juggling multiple viewpoints, Healey skillfully keeps her characters on an emotional roller-coaster even as they deal with physical threats. The climax delivers a gut punch that only underscores the sensitivity of the subject matter (without lessening the thrill at all). Ages 12 up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Karen Healey is the author of the Aurealis winner and William C. Morris Debut Award finalist Guardian of the Dead, The Shattering, and When We Wake. She technically lives in New Zealand, but actually lives on the internet. You can find her at www.karenhealey.com.