Friday, December 29, 2017

Lockdown by Laurie R. King

It's Career Day at Guadalupe Middle School and tensions are running high.  Things have happened that make the school less than a restful place.  Last year, a girl was shot outside of school but she was a student and the cousin of the boy who shot her goes to the school also.  That trial is now going on.  A new sixth-grader, the daughter of the local car dealer, disappeared and no word has been heard of her.  Was she killed somewhere or did she run away?

There is a new principal who is trying to turn the school around.  Linda comes from the Midwest, a strange match with her mainly Hispanic students, but seems to be making progress in helping the school.  Her husband Gordon is English and a bit of a mystery.  He helps out along with Tio, the janitor and Coach, a retired educator who has come back to help out.  Olivia is the local policewoman who watches over the town which means she is worried about the school as well.  Together they all try to help the students who have issues and keep things simmering under the surface instead of breaking out.

The students have shifting alliances and moods.  There is Brendan who is broodingly handsome and a basketball star but who is obviously troubled and seems to be ready to blow.  Sophia is the sister of the girl who was killed last year and is just starting to emerge from a cloud of grief.  Her best friend, Mina, has come to the area with her Iranian parents who are always worried about her security.  Nick was the missing girl's best friend and he has been lost without her and has started a viral campaign against her father.  All while these kids are supposed to be getting an education.  Will the school blow before Career Day is ended?

Laurie R. King has written many well-received mysteries.  Her series about Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell has been a major best seller.  She has four novels in a series featuring a female detective, Kate Martinelli.  This book is a stand alone but her ability to set a tense atmosphere and move the action along to a chilling climax is well demonstrated.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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