Monday, November 27, 2017

Harvey, Sarah N., and Robin Stevenson. Blood On the Beach.

Harvey, Sarah N., and Robin Stevenson.  Blood On the Beach.  Orca 2017  259p. $14.95  Paperback  ISBN 978-1-4598-1293-2      ms/hs  Mystery/Suspense VG

Suspense/fear builds quickly and is sustained after one girl goes missing from a  “treatment” camp hosted by three adult counselors on a remote island. The eight teens with a variety of issues are sent to the island in hopes of having them come back as better people. When one girl goes missing and the radio is found sabotaged, the teens realize that the girl could be dead and one of them could be the murderer.  After a series of other sinister events and false leads, the teens realize they need to band together to stay safe and solve the mystery of who is really the psychotic person on the island.  The adults do not seem well-equipped to handle all the issues (assault, drugs, gender identity, psychological issues, and theft) that caused the parents to send their children to this camp in the first place. With inexperienced staff who display questionable conduct, it is a wonder that the camp had any accreditation, but that problem definitely plays into the plot. Sexual attraction, but not graphic, among the teens both gay and straight occurs during the search for the killer. The teens are the most believable part of this story as they learn about each other, support each other, and band together to protect their safety. Because of the easy vocabulary, this book qualifies as a hi/lo book for high-school readers. Recommended where mysteries are popular, especially among those who find using a rehab camp as the setting is relevant.

Summary: In this combination of Survivor and Lord of the Flies, eight troubled teens arrive on an island staffed by three adults. When one girl goes missing and the radio is sabotaged, suspicion falls on many, but only solidarity among the teens will get them off the island. Gr. 7+

Rehab-Fiction, Mystery                                            --Lois McNicol

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