And then there were four by Nancy Werlin
Speak, 2018. ISBN: 9780147510266.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. A book for mystery lovers, Werlin has written an easy to read and engrossing story about five teenagers who escape death when a building collapses on them. It is not an accident, someone is trying to murder them. Gradually the group piece together a theory, unlikely as it may seem.
The plot contains enough twists and turns, unexpected events and red herrings that the reader will be kept guessing until the end about the teens' theory and whether it is true.
Written in two alternating voices, that of Saralinda del la Flor and Caleb Colchester, Werlin skilfully draws out the characters and events that befall the group. Saralinda's voice is quite unique with exclamation points and strange sayings and once the reader becomes accustomed to it, is very enjoyable to read. Caleb's on the other hand is darker and told in the second person. All the characters are unique and interesting, particularly Saralinda who has a club foot and diabetes, but who with humour, manages to often be the voice of reason in this diverse group. Caleb has suffered all his life, labelled a bad boy, Kenyon is an outspoken young woman who has used social media to call out a rape, while Evangeline and Antoine are popular school leaders. As a group they don't appear to mesh well, but when one of them dies, they have to work out a way to stay alive and use each other's skills and expertise. And there are some budding romances as well.
Mystery readers who enjoy books by Lauren Oliver and Karen McManus are likely to enjoy the fast pace and suspense of And then there were four.