A group of teens are trapped in an old motel with a murderer in this chilling YA mystery by New York Times bestselling author April Henry.
Nell has always wanted to be an actor, but doubts her ability. As a member of her school’s theater program, she prefers working backstage. On the way to a contest, an unexpected blizzard strands her acting troupe in a creepy motel. Soon they meet a group of strangers from another high school—including the mysterious and handsome Knox, who insists they play the game Two Truths and a Lie. When it’s Nell’s turn, she draws a slip of paper inked in unfamiliar handwriting:
I like to watch people die.
I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve killed.
Suddenly a night of harmless fun turns into a matter of life and death. As guests go missing, it becomes clear that a murderer is hiding in their midst ready to strike again. In a room full of liars and performers, the truth is never quite what it seems. Nell is going to have to act like her life depends on it—because it does.
An unexpected blizzard and teens trapped in a secluded, old motel with a murderer – this book sounded like the perfect setting for a locked room mystery.
With no electricity or cell service and cell phones in various stages of dying, these teens decide to play the game of Two Truths and a Lie. After Nell draws a slip of paper indicating a killer is in their midst, the mystery begins. Who’s lying? Who’s telling the truth? What makes it even more difficult is that nearly all of these teens are trained performers in their theater groups at school and were on the way to a competition before being sidelined by the blizzard. Soon it’s revealed that twenty years ago, two hotel guests were murdered and the killer was never found. Cue one of the characters suggesting it’s time to break out the Ouija board – never a good idea – and ominous messages from spirits leave everyone in various stages of fear and suspicion. Then the body count begins.
It’s not difficult to figure out who the murderer is, and I honestly thought one of the characters would pick up on it. Besides the teens and their teachers, a few other mysterious guests are staying at the hotel and add to the list of suspects. There are a few plot holes I’d hoped would be explained, especially with something involving the Ouija board. I’d expected the story to lean more in the supernatural direction after that, but it was rarely mentioned again.
Although I knew who the killer was early on, I still wanted to see how the story played out. This locked room mystery has the perfect wintry setting, and it’s a fun, quick read I finished in a couple of sittings.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.