This is a pre publication proof courtesy of Netgalley. The book will be published in July 2018.
Charlie Calloway is many things. She is a studious daughter of the rich and powerful Alisdair Calloway, of the Calloway Group. She’s best friends with Drew, her room mate at an exclusive boarding school, she is an initiate for the extremely secretive and elitist A’s. She is the daughter of Grace Calloway, a woman who married way above her and then disappeared, leaving her two young daughters behind. She’s good at poker and doesn’t date. She keeps herself to herself and is described by her counsellor as a narcissist with a borderline personality disorder.
Until she is contacted by her uncle who has found some photos hidden at the family lake house that imply that there is more to her mothers disappearance then it was thought. Charlie goes back to visit her mother’s family and starts investigating what happened. She is also trying to pass the three tests to make sure that she gets a place in the A’s, if it’s discovered she will be expelled immediately. As the story unravels Charlie becomes more convinced that something has happened to her mother. She enlists the help of her old friend Greyson, while fending off the charms of Dalton, the school player. The book is written in a split narrative so we also hear from her mother and her father just before she disappeared. Her father’s brother, Uncle Teddy is also in the mix.
There were parts of this book that I really enjoyed. I thought that the storyline was good, the character of Charlie could have been a bit more fleshed out but I kind of got where she was going. The split narrative was confusing because we knew more about what was going on then Charlie, which led to some jumping around. She was also quite happy to believe everything everyone told her and didn’t really question stuff until afterwards, which was frustrating. Some bits tied up at the end but it was all a little too neat. There was also a big question mark over one of the main characters which was never fully explained. It may be because I had a proof copy and the final version will be a clearer but, the narration was jumpy and a little annoying.
I think that if the book was just about the disappearance, or just about the school initiation (there is a link to an old suicide that turns out to be connected to her mother and father) then it would have been easier to follow, but it was all a bit too convoluted. Well written and enjoyable if you stick with it.