July 7, 2015
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When two boys walk into the woods, and one comes out covered in blood, what would you believe?
Fletcher and Adam venture into the woods for an afternoon hike, but when day turns into night and neither boy returns, their town is thrown into turmoil. Avery, the detective's daughter, is the one to find Fletcher—disheveled, disoriented, and covered in blood. He has no memory of what happened, but Avery can't shake the feeling that something's off. When Adam's body is finally found, Avery is determined to uncover the truth. But if she stands by her gut, and Fletcher, is she standing by a friend, or a murderer? The answer might cost her her life.
The beginning of Hannah Jayne's The Escape is fantastic. We get to meet Fletcher, Adam and Avery. Though they're not together, based on what's happening, where they are and who they're with, we know their stories will be intersecting soon. Just how that will happen and how big of a role they each will play is to be discovered.
I loved that, even with 'the escape' being such the focus - of characters and the story, Avery is really the main character. I found her interesting from the very start. As the police chief's daughter, she is more apprised of the PD's goings on than most anyone else, though not always as much as she'd like to be.
After she's the one to find the boy n the woods, Avery feels more drawn to him, his tale and finding the culprit.
It's when there start to be more questions about what really happened in the woods that day, who was present, who was responsible and what the escaped teen may - or may not - have done, that Avery becomes truly invested.
The mystery of The Escape (and the escape) is very nicely done. There's some ambiguity nearly right away, leaving readers to question what has happened - and what follows. There are some nicely dropped hints and also a few statements and events that seem to cast suspicion in another direction.
Avery's involvement with the character and the investigation as well as her belief in in him is made even more believable and understandable with her backstory. The more we learn about her own past and family, the more her decisions, her risks and her choices make sense. It also makes you wish, even more, for her to be right. You don't want her to experience any more pain.
The town's reaction to what has happened - and the ongoing investigation - was great. It seemed incredibly realistic while also being the basis for the characters' actions and reactions. It all worked together very, very nicely.
How it all comes together is both a surprise and not at all a surprise. The smaller pieces of the puzzle are startling and even unexpected, but the big picture makes so much sense it can't really be called surprising. That's not to say it's not an adrenaline filled ending, though, because it certainly is. The Escape is a thrilling read with captivating characters, an intriguing mystery and well done family dynamics.
digital copy received for review, from publisher, via NetGalley