Monday, March 30, 2015
When by Victoria Laurie
At first Maddie thought it was a fun game, trying to figure out what these strange numbers that hovered just above peoples forehead could possible signify? However reality set in quickly when her father died suddenly in the line of duty on the very date she had seen depicted on his forehead for years. Maddie can see the death date of anyone, whether looking directly at them, or at a picture, and these dates never change. After his death, Maddie and her mother move to a small town where they struggle to make ends meet. Maddie's ability enables her to supplement the meager allowance they are allotted with her father's wrongful death suit however it sets her apart as an outcast. Her mother descended into alcoholism years ago and can no longer care for herself, let alone her daughter.
At a client reading, Maddie realizes that while the sick daughter she came inquiring about will live for some time to come, her healthy son has less than a week left. After sharing this information the woman grows skeptical of both Maddie's intentions and her ability. Maddie, with the help of her best friend Stubs, decides to reach out to the mother one more time, to plead with her to take this warning to heart. It is this behavior that makes her the lead suspect in the FBI's case when the boy is reported missing on the very date Maddie predicted. As more children are reported missing, children linked to Maddie, the FBI grow even more convinced of her involvement. Proof of her innocence lies in her ability, an ability the FBI doubt. Determined to prove her innocence, Maddie sets out to unravel the who, why and how behind these strange disappearances.
Laurie, a paranormal mystery veteran, proves her versatility as a writer with her gripping teen debut. Plenty of intrigue and suspense keep the story moving at a fast clip while the snappy dialogue and well developed cast of supporting characters provide for a full bodied thriller. Though When centers around the compelling mystery, Laurie also deftly explores deeper themes of bullying, grief, and healing, making this a perfect pick for both mystery and teen fiction fans alike.
For other mysteries with a paranormal twist featuring female sleuths, check out Victoria Laurie's adult mystery series, as well as The Mediator series by Meg Cabot.