As I'm finding my way through my Reading Challenge for 2016, I've really had to stretch my normal reading habits. Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel, in the category "recommended by someone you just met," actually piqued my interest. After all it's a teen novel with a mystery surrounding the presumed death of the person in the center of a love triangle.
We begin the tale in Paris where friends and family are attending the funeral of young Charlie Price, who has been pronounced dead after the plane he took on a joy ride explodes, and a piece of Charlie's bloody clothing is found by the police. While at the funeral two teenage girls, Aubrey and Lena, discover that they were both dating Charlie, each unknown to the other. And here's the big kicker - Lena doesn't think Charlie is actually dead. What ensues is an exciting and mysterious manhunt to discover the truth about Charlie's "accident," the relationships each of the girls had with him, and his motivations in the days leading up to his disappearance.
One word of warning before you take this one on: you have to REALLY be able to have a suspension of disbelief in the likelihood that two teen girls, one who lives in America and has traveled to Paris to attend the funeral of her boyfriend and the other who lives is Paris, are allowed to travel the globe by their parents. Anyone have a teenage daughter? Would you let her travel to Paris by herself to attend her boyfriend's funeral? It's a flaw in the story, but not a fatal one in my mind. This one is still worth giving a try.