Well here it is- book number one for 2015 and it was a good one! One of my favorite perks of being a teacher is being invited to the Scholastic Warehouse Sales- some people slowly and methodically work their way through the aisles, searching for the right books. Not me. I Supermarket Sweep my way from aisle to aisle- grabbing anything and everything that looks good. Some I read, some I give as presents and some head to the library to be used as giveaways for my students. To be honest though- most come home with me. My personal library is vast and varied and over the last few years the bulk of the books have come from the Scholastic Warehouse Sale. This was one of the books I grabbed at the last event.
“Take her out back and finish her off.”
She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know where she is, or why. All she knows when she comes to in a ransacked cabin is that there are two men arguing over whether or not to kill her.
And that she must run.
In her riveting style, April Henry crafts a nail-biting thriller involving murder, identity theft, and biological warfare. Follow Cady and Ty (her accidental savior turned companion), as they race against the clock to stay alive.
This was a really good book to start the year out with, it's definitely a murder mystery and it's very well done. My big thing with mysteries is that i don't want to figure it out before the end of the book, and for the most part this book delivered. There were a few parts that were a little eye-rolly, and the twist towards the end involving Cady's brother seemed too obvious, but for the most part I was as lost as Cady was, which was great.
The best part of this book was that you, as the reader, were figuring it all out in real time with Cady. When the book opens Cady is in a cabin in the woods and there are two men there who are planning on killing her. It's clear that they have already tortured her, she can see the evidence and feel the pain. However, she has no idea who she is or where she is. She has no idea who these guys are or what they want. All she knows is that she is alone and that she doesn't want to die, so she must escape. Once she manages to escape, she flees, eventually hooking up with unsuspecting, but well meaning Ty, who has been down and out before and wants to just lend a hand. He has no idea what kind of adventure he is offering to tag along on, but he's there for Cady even though Cady has no idea whether she is the good guy or the bad guy. As the story wears on we being to piece together what happened and what Cady is up against.
The plot itself is believable. It hinges on Cady's parents who have discovered a new deadly disease and also helped to create it's vaccine. Once the knowledge of this gets out and the potential of both the disease and vaccine are known, people's lives get caught in the cross hairs. The government and some in the company see it's use as a biological weapon and the promise of a big payday make some people do horrific things. Cady's parents begin to orchestrate an exit plan, and that's where their lives are threatened, leaving Cady to fend for herself. While some of it seems slightly far-fetched I'm actually reminded of a project my research students and I just worked out about diseases. While looking at the Black Plague we stumbled upon a Japanese program called Unit 731 that was used shortly before and during WWII. This program was all about biological warfare and the human experiments that were carried out were atrocious. Over the course of the program people were tortured a killed as the Japanese worked out their biological weapons, they even conducted live autopsies so they could track the process and affects of the disease on a person before they died. More disconcerting is the fact that after the war, and after the program was coming to a close, many of the scientists were granted immunity by the US in exchange for their research. In other words, no one wants to have biological weapons used on them, but on the other side no one wants to be left without a weapon to use if the fight turns in that direction. While this book doesn't get into the nitty-gritty dirty detail of the consequences of biological warfare, it definitely hints at it, and that makes the stakes that Cady is fighting for all the more serious.
This book was a great way to start year and I'll definitely be checking out more of April Henry's mysteries.
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Home of the ramblings of an avid reader. In my spare time I also run, ride, teach, go on adventures and get into shenanigans.
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