Ten

Gretchen McNeil, Author
Gretchen McNeil. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-211878-3
Reviewed on: 08/13/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-211880-6
Paperback - 294 pages - 978-0-06-211879-0
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Agatha Christie meets Gossip Girl when a group of high school students are stranded on an island in McNeil’s (Possess) throwback to old-school thrillers. Friends Meg and Minnie are two of 10 disparate teenagers invited to an exclusive party on Henry Island in Washington State, along with Minnie’s ex, Gunner, and Meg’s former crush, T.J. Things turn sinister when they lose contact with the outside world, and people start dying. As their numbers dwindle, it’s soon clear that each teen is there for a purpose, and the killer has an agenda. The tension rises with each symbolically gruesome death, especially as evidence surfaces to implicate one of them as the murderer. Clearly inspired by Christie’s Ten Little Indians, but updated to account for modern technology and sensibilities, McNeil’s story also has all the hallmarks of a traditional slasher flick, including imprudent sex, gory slayings, and dramatic revelations. The string of deaths means some characters never get much development, and the romantic angle is fairly predictable, but the claustrophobic setting and classic horror feints and twists still do the trick. Ages 13–up. Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown. (Sept.)
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