This is one heck of a mystery. High school senior Ella lives with her grandmother and Uncle Joe after an accident orphaned her as a toddler. Her father’s best friend and business partner, Darrin, treats her like a favorite niece and has cultivated her father’s business into a solid foundation to keep Ella safe and comfortable. That all changes when Max shows up: Max, the journalism student consumed with Ella’s story, because what Ella’s been told isn’t how it happened. Max knows, because Max was there that night, too.
This is a wild ride. You think you know what’s going on, and CJ Lyons politely smirks and shakes a finger in your literary face, crafting a plot that left me dumbfounded. Adding a main character with synesthesia – a condition that wreaks havoc on the senses, and, in Ella’s case, allows her “read” people through their colorful auras – adds nice depth to the characters. There is a lot of storytelling here – at times, to the detriment of pacing – but overall, this is a good mystery, with a touch of romance, that teens will like.
CJ Lyons’s author webpage includes medical and forensic links and the opportunity to download some of her work for free.