Two Can Keep a Secret

336p. Delacorte. Jan. 2019. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781524714727. POP
Gr 8 Up–Twins Ellery and Ezra are traveling to Echo Ridge for the first time. Ellery, a passionate true-crime buff, knows all about the town's unpleasant history—their aunt disappeared there at age 17, and just five years ago, the high school homecoming queen was murdered. Not long after, the teens settle in and land jobs at Fright Farm, the Halloween theme park where the slain homecoming queen was found. Soon, threats against the homecoming court begin popping up anew, and then another girl goes missing from Echo Ridge. Ellery becomes a target, as well. The story is told in alternating chapters by Ellery and Malcolm, whose brother was implicated in the murder of the homecoming queen; however, neither Ellery, Malcolm, nor any of the work's supporting characters are fully fleshed out. The three separate mysteries in Echo Ridge can be overwhelming to keep track of at times. While the character building may be lacking, and the story line may occasionally confuse, the history of Echo Ridge does intertwine nicely with Ellery's own family history and moves the plot along. What little romance is included serves to further the plot. Every character will be a suspect at least once, and when the mystery finally unravels, readers may not grasp the full repercussions of the conclusion for a long time.
VERDICT For readers who have outgrown "Fear Street" and are looking for a similar sort of tension, mystery, and murder.

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