I love when Kelley Armstrong starts something completely new, because she invests it with energy and and an interest that sometimes seems to wane in later books of series that she writes. With this new young adult book, I feel she is back at her best level of writing.
Winter Crane, 17, spends much of her time in an abandoned shack around a mile from her family’s trailer in Reeves End, Kentucky. Her father is an alcoholic who is not averse to punching her around. Ironically, it is safer for her in the woods, in spite of a pack of feral dogs and other threats.
As the story begins, Winter discovers a boy, Lennon Bishop, beat up and hanging from a tree, and she rescues him. But it seems like whoever attacked him is trying to finish the job. Lennon leaves the cabin so Winter won’t be in danger, but before she can figure out how to find him, his older brother Jude shows up looking for Lennon also. Reluctantly at first, they opt to work together to find out who is menacing Lennon and now Winter as well.
Their relationship grows as they get closer to solving the mystery of what is going on and who is behind it. But the danger to them grows also.
Evaluation: I enjoyed this a lot, and am disappointed it will not be a series!
Published in the U.S. by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC