The Bottom Line: An essential whodunnit for both YA and adult crime fiction fans.
Karen M. McManus’ teen murder mystery is the perfect antidote to Netflix’s Riverdale, the Twin Peaks-meets-Archies mashup that never really feels set in high school. By contrast, McManus artfully sets up a believable single-setting high school atmosphere that feels inspired by both Clue and the Breakfast Club.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
But Simon never makes it out of that classroom. And thus, a crime thriller is born.
Is the killer among them? Or are they being set up?
To say more would be to spoil the fun of this concise thriller that holds its best cards until the very end.