by Gretchen McNeil
Plot Summary:And their doom comes swiftly.
It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.
But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.
Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?
Expectations:I was first drawn in by the mysterious and utterly eye-catching cover and after reading the plot summary, I was expecting a young adult version of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Which I was entirely down for.
Review:If you have read And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, this book might not hold as many surprises for you. And I only say that because the logistics of having ten people in an isolated spot and a hidden killer in their midst, presents certain complications that Agatha Christie had worked out, and Gretchen McNeil deals with it in a similar way. Only in these mechanics are the stories similar, but in the characters and the heart of the narrative there are many differences, which made Ten an absolutely compelling and page-turning mystery.
The variety of characters, and the amount of teen angst and drama make up that heart of the narrative that I found so interesting. There is a reason why someone is killing off the unfortunate party attendees, and unravelling the circumstances that led up to the events on the island was an intricately fitted puzzle. The clues were all in place to figure out the culprit, and I must admit, because I read And Then There Were None, I was able to guess the murderer pretty early and I enjoyed spotting all the evidence that supported my theory as I read the story. Even with certain suspicions, I was surprised by a few things and I could not put this book down until I had finished the last page. The resolution of the story was not at all as straightforward for me as guessing the murderer was, and I was breathless anticipating how it would all end. There is also a nicely built, tension-filled romance and Meg is a great snarky protagonist who drove the narrative perfectly. Absolutely an amazingly immersive mystery, I would recommend this book to everyone who enjoys their mysteries fast-paced, insidious and compelling.