By: Ashley Elston
Published By: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Page Count: 320
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Mystery
The cover of this caught my eye, so I decided to read the premise. I decided a murder mystery set in the South was a must read. My first experience reading Ashley Elston's work was enjoyable. I'll certainly be looking for more of her novels in the future. As with all mysteries, this one will be difficult to review without spoilers, but I promise I won't ruin the read. My review may be on the short side as a result.
Kate Marino is reeling from the death of Grant, a friend and member of the River Point Boys. Kate had only recently struck up a relationship with Grant, but she felt like they were connecting and moving towards something more. Everything changed the moment she heard that he had been killed while hunting with the other River Point Boys. Five friends went into the woods that fateful morning, but only four lived to tell the tale. The problem is none of the boys is admitting to being the one that pulled the trigger. Why are they covering up for one another if Grant's death was an accident? Signs begin to point toward murder, but the boys close ranks and keep their mouths closed.
Kate is furious that Grant is not receiving the justice he deserves. Her job at the district attorney's office gives her an inside track to the workings of the case since her direct boss has been assigned to prosecute. The D.A. hopes the case will be open and shut, so that it can be quickly swept under the rug. The River Point Boys come from powerful, wealthy families who don't wish to see any of their sons go to jail for a tragic accident. Kate pressures her boss to look closely at everything before writing the incident off as a mistake.
Due to deteriorating eyesight, Kate's boss relies heavily on her and her mother, his secretary, to help him piece together what really happened the morning Grant died. Kate will find herself in the middle of the investigation. As clues surface, Kate will realize that everything she thought she knew was wrong and life is not as black and white as some people claim.
Kate makes some pretty dangerous choices throughout the course of this novel in her quest for answers and justice. I couldn't support all of these choices, but her heart was in the right place. I worried for her safety on multiple occasions.
Elston has done a fabulous job of crafting a compelling whodunnit. Every time I thought I had things figured out, new evidence would surface that would lead me down a new path. If you need a darker story this autumn, I'd highly recommend giving this one a try.
One Last Gripe: I craved a stronger ending.
Favorite Things About This Book: The setting and sense of tension that hovered throughout the plot
First Sentence: A ten-point buck and a dead body make the same sound when they hit the forest floor.
Favorite Character: Kate
Least Favorite Character: At some point, I disliked all of the River Point Boys, including Grant.
No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.
Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.
Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she and Stone investigate—the ageing prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.