When we first meet Phoebe Hall, her life is in a downward spiral. Her boyfriend has ended their relationship abruptly and she is faced with every writers nightmare when she is accused of plagiarism. I immediately felt bad for her and, like Phoebe, thought a change of scenery would be a good thing. One of her oldest friends who she went to boarding school with offers her a great opportunity to teach a writing class at Lyle College, far from Manhattan and the bad press and unwanted publicity.
Initially, the move appears to have been a good decision. Phoebe is settling in well and is enjoying the small and quiet community that surrounds the college. She even has a romantic interest on the horizon with a fellow teaching colleague, but Phoebe is reluctant to begin any relationships. Suddenly, Phoebes peace and solitude are ripped to shreds when the body of a young coed who had gone missing is found in the river. Several clues point to a secret club on campus, only known as The Sixes. Phoebes friend, Glenda, enlists her help in finding out more. The more Phoebe digs, the closer she comes to a killer as well as reliving some horrible experiences she, herself, suffered while attending boarding school.
First of all, I enjoyed the story and the concept of a secret society with an intricate agenda recruiting coeds on campus. It gives the plot a very mysterious and sinister tone. Kate White does a good job of leading the reader through several scenes that allude to The Sixes being involved in the murders and then without warning, I started to suspect others. This story is full of suspicious characters that are all capable of heinous acts. I had a hard time deciding who was trustworthy.
The story goes from mysterious and sinister to downright chilling when Phoebes home is broken into and based on the items left behind, she appears to be the victim of bullying. She isnt a stranger to this kind of treatment as she endured horrific treatment by bullies when she was at boarding school. It takes most of the story to learn the full extent of the bullying she endured. I would have preferred to have it revealed sooner because I just couldnt understand why she was placing herself in danger. Once I learned what she went through, I understood that Phoebe wants to make sure nobody is ever bullied again. Unfortunately, the choices and decisions she makes while looking into the disappearance and murder lead to more murders and more danger to Phoebe. She has several close calls herself and is physically injured repeatedly because of those choices and decisions. I thought she was taking too many risks and just cant understand why does the hero/heroine always realize who the killer is only after they are alone with them? It would have been better for my blood pressure if this revelation would have been made while Phoebe is sitting on the couch, eating ice cream and watching television.
In spite of Phoebes tenacious pursuit for the truth, I really liked her and admired her ability to rise above a painful past and move forward in times of adversity. The story is a standalone read and doesnt leave any loose ends, but I wouldnt be surprised if Phoebe makes another appearance in a book down the road.
Overall, this was a good story that should appeal to readers who like their romance mixed with suspense and mystery. I would have liked it better if Phoebe hadnt taken so many foolish risks, but I applaud her diligence in seeking out the truth and fighting for the underdog.
Check out my full review at Kritters Ramblings
A wonderful who dun it with a strong female characters at the lead. Phoebe Hall has moved to small town PA to help cover a teaching position as her best friend is the college president. Glenda is the college president and with all the drama that is going on on campus, she is fearful for her job and her safety. These two women along with the police are trying to find the connection between some recent drownings right off campus and a secret underground society made up solely of college women.