The Mystery of Hollow Places

digital download. 6:45 hrs. Harper Audio. 2015. $18.99. ISBN 9780062447128.
Gr 8 Up—Imogene Scott's father, famous crime fiction novelist Joshua Scott, walked away from his home, leaving Immie and her stepmother with a lot of worry and even more questions. What follows is a complex family drama as 17-year-old Immie takes it on herself to bring her father home. Believing that her father left her clues to find him, she embarks on road trip after train ride after bus trip to get to the answers. While Immie is loathe to disclose her instincts with her stepmother, she does enlist her best friend, Jessa, to trek around New England scrabbling for clues. Unexpectedly, her search brings her in touch with the mother who abandoned her when she was two. This suspenseful mystery will keep listeners fully engaged. That Immie believes so passionately that she can save her father is testament to her heart and intelligence. While this novel does deploy the child-who-keeps-secrets-from-adults-so-that-the-protagonist-can-do-the-unrealistic trope, Immie is an amazingly resilient teen and the plot technique actually works. Emma Galvin has the perfect voice for Immie, reading her as dry, serious, and reflective.
VERDICT An excellent addition to any teen collection, this novel threads issues of mental illness, loyalty, and resiliency. Recommended. ["Elements of magical realism and a stark Massachusetts backdrop add atmosphere to this sometimes choppy mystery with a diverse cast of characters": SLJ 11/15 review of the Balzer + Bray book.]

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