The Masked Truth

384p. ebook available. Doubleday. Oct. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780385684750.
Gr 10 Up—Readers are exposed to a thrilling tragedy turned hostage situation all within the first 20 pages of this novel. Riley Vasquez witnesses the brutal murder of a couple she was babysitting for while she hid under the bed with their daughter. A weekend at therapy with five other troubled teens is supposed to help her cope—that is until three masked men break in, taking them all hostage. Riley teams up with Max Cross, a teen diagnosed with schizophrenia, as they try to escape their captors. The novel is written from the points of view of Riley and Max, which gives readers different takes on the same events, including the perspective of someone struggling to get a strong grasp on reality. Once they escape, they are faced with a whole new set of issues as they discover they are now caught in the middle of a murder mystery conspiracy. The action-packed story line is well written and makes the novel hard to put down. This title sheds light on mental illness and the way it is perceived in a unique way, while keeping readers on their toes with numerous twists and surprises. The masked truth about the captors is revealed on the very last pages. Murder and brutal violence make this more suitable for mature teens.
VERDICT Fans of Harlan Coben will enjoy this riveting suspense thriller.

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