- The Girl in the Picture by Alexandra Monir
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-385-74390-7 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-385-37252-7 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 7-10
Chace Porter is dead, and no one is going to let the murderer of the golden boy of Oyster Bay Prep get away with it. Top of the suspect list is Nicole Morgan—the titular girl in the picture, a photo leaked by the press showing that the shy, nerdy musician may have been Chace’s side girl while he was dating the ever glamorous Lana Rivera. When an accident left Nicole scarred, Chace broke it off and fled to Lana’s open arms, but Nicole’s jealousy and wrath eventually caught up with him in Oyster Bay’s woods—or at least that’s the story the media is telling. This love triangle’s got a few more complications than just a vengeful ex, though, and [End Page 185] the alternating narration between Nicole and Lana along with flashbacks show exactly how deliciously tangled the web is. Lana’s and Chace’s parents are political rivals, each scheming to get the other booted from Congress; Chace has a history that means people might have wanted him dead; and Lana has a touch of violence that only Nicole knows about. The two girls could have easily been a call from central casting, but Monir layers their characters with vulnerabilities and surprising strengths, especially Lana, who’s aware that her good looks and connections might not be enough to get her where she wants to go. Chace is rather bland in life and death, as he randomly shows up as a ghost, but plenty of red herrings and suspicious activities more than compensate, and the ultimate reveal of the culprit is fabulously drawn. Mystery lovers will find Oyster Bay Prep just to their liking.