Sneaking Out

404p. Dunemere. Mar. 2018. pap. $15.99. ISBN 9780998499772.
Gr 8 Up—In this series opener, Vance introduces Luke Chase, a teenager who has previously escaped a kidnapping through his survivalist instincts. Now a student at St. Benedict's, an exclusive prep school in Connecticut, Luke is thrust into another situation that will take his wits and survival skills to prevail. After Luke sneaks out with his roommate, Oscar, and their romantic interests, Pippa and Kelsey, to drink in the woods on campus, a murder occurs. The second Mrs. Heckler, new wife of Dean Heckler, is murdered and Luke becomes an integral part of the mysterious circumstances. First, Oscar leaves school after having his school ID and scarf found at the crime scene. Then Pippa becomes a suspect after information about her past in England becomes known. A well-developed mystery in which all characters—teachers, students, and perhaps even the Southborough Strangler—are suspects, this novel moves quickly and keeps readers engaged with twists and turns. Without parental notification or consent, it was concerning and improbable that police officers would question the students, children under the age of 18.
VERDICT A good choice for libraries in which murder mysteries or series like "Pretty Little Liars" are popular.

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