Becca King and her mother are on the run from her abusive and criminal stepfather, heading north to the state of Washington, far away from her California home and his reach.
But fourteen year-old Becca brings with her something she is only learning how to use: her talent for hearing the whispers of other people’s thoughts.
The safe haven her mother has set up with a friend on Whidbey Island, just north of Seattle’s coast, tragically falls through. With her mother heading to find them a new home in British Columbia and out of touch, Becca must rely on her wits and wiles to survive.
Her hair has been cut and darkened, and she’s wearing glasses she doesn’t need to change her appearance even more. Feeling more and more out of herself, Becca must make her own way. But which one of her new acquaintances can she trust?
Seth, the drop-out who finds her lodging and seems like a friend? Debbie, the motel owner Becca finds work with, who struggles with grief over the loss of her daughter? Then there’s Derrick, the Ugandan orphan hiding his own past secrets, and Diana, the woman who seems the most comfortable with Becca’s special talent.
This unusual grouping becomes the framework for Becca’s survival as she waits to hear from her mother. Then a tragic accident changes everything and suddenly Becca has nowhere to turn.
This is the first of a planned series which will cover roughly one semester of Becca’s time on Whidbey Island. George gets the tone for YA audiences just right, and weaves her usual tight plot. The prose is clever and precise, and the book is peopled with characters who emerge as real people, not cardboard cutouts. The issues teens struggle with: identity, drugs, bullying–are all addressed. A fine start to an exciting new line.
For fans of the Lynley series: Just One Evil Act will be published by Hodder this September.
Ava Garrison’s beloved son Noah disappeared two years ago at the tender age of two.
Without a ransom demand, most people believe Noah is dead, but Ava stubbornly refuses to believe that and holds on to the thought that he is alive.
After a breakdown, surrounded by a host of family she doesn’t trust, the formerly strong businesswoman Ava used to be has disappeared. In its place is a woman haunted by visions of Noah. Her family say they are concerned for her mental state and hover annoyingly over her.
Living on her isolated family estate, Ava slowly realizes she can’t trust anyone. Not her estranged husband nor the multiple cousins and friends who people her world. She feels she is being pushed to the brink of suicide when she decides she’s being driven there by a very twisted murderer.
Into the mix comes Austin Dern, hired by Ava’s husband to tend to the large estate and its livestock. Ava feels drawn to the tough stranger but can she trust him? Or is he the instrument of her destruction?
Jackson’s suspense novels are the complete package: twisted plots, more than enough romance to keep readers happy, and a mystery to solve that has high stakes and a surprising twist at the end.