Elizabeth George, author of seventeen mysteries about Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley, has placed her first young adult novel on an island, Whidbey Island, near Seattle, Washington. The island setting gives the novel a claustrophobic feel, while the main character’s ability to hear “whispers” of other people’s thoughts makes it eerie and somewhat Hitchcockian in another way.
Becca King and her mom are on the run from Becca’s stepfather who used Becca’s special “mind-reading” abilities to enrich himself. However, now that both Becca and her mom know that the stepfather is a murderer as well as a thief, their lives are in danger. So mom leaves Becca with a friend on Whidbey Island, while she goes on to Canada to make a place for the two of them.
The story was compelling, but there were issues. Maybe because this book is the beginning of a series(?) about Becca and her mom and Whidbey Island, there were lots of unanswered questions and plot and character developments that felt unfinished and just weird somehow. Yet, I’m not sure I care enough about Becca and her new island friends to find the next book in the series and read it.
The “whispers” that Becca hears are chaotic fragments of thought that also give the book a weird vibe. I couldn’t figure out half the time who was thinking or what they were thinking about, and I didn’t see how Becca could make much sense of her sixth sense, either. The ability to hear thought whispers certainly doesn’t give Becca much insight into the people she meets on the island, nor does her ability help her to figure out who injured her new friend, Derric, and put him into a coma. Or was it an accident?
I prefer Ms. George’s Inspector Lynley mysteries, and I found the fragmented whispers of thought in this book annoying and unnecessary.