‘One of Us is Lying’ – Karen M. McManus

Due for publication at the end of May 2017, I am really grateful to the author and publishers Delacorte Press (via NetGalley) for allowing me to read this early.

For readers of the target group, the John Hughes movie The Breakfast Club will probably not mean anything. But, throughout, I could see the influence of this movie – and one or two hit teen dramas of recent years – on the way this was written. Yet I never felt I was simply rehashing old ground.

The basic plot is simple. Five students of Bayview High – the “walking teen stereotypes” – are put in detention one night. One of the five, Simon, runs a hit app on which his peers depend for their gossip. Unfortunately Simon was planning to reveal a little secret belonging to each of the four students with him in detention. This provides each of the four with a reason to be a suspicious character in the investigation that ensues after Simon (who suffers with a peanut allergy) ends up dead.

A high-impact start, and we are taken on something of a rollercoaster ride as we learn a little more about Bronwen, Nate, Addy, Cooper and the young man who seemed to hold the key to their high school happiness in his hands.

Don’t worry, there’s no big reveal here. What I will tell you is that I was second-guessing everyone and everything I was told. I trusted nobody and, though I suspected the final revelation, I still wasn’t certain until very close to the end.

A greta debut, and one I will be heartily recommending to my students.