Sometimes I wonder why I continue to read psychological thrillers. I nearly had a heart attack reading this one. When I know a character has a mental disorder so no one can predict what he or she might do next, it just scares the heck out of me. In this expertly crafted thriller, I couldn't even decide which of my suspects was the threat for sure until late in the book.
The heroine is Julia Stilwell, a freshman at Stradler College in Pennsylvania. She's a bit of a loner and certainly not like the other girls in that she doesn't care about make-up, the latest gossip, or even chatting about classes. She does get along well with her roommate, and the fact that she always has a witty comeback to any remark helps. Her roommate's boyfriend seems to have an eye for Julia but only once does he cross the line, and he has an excuse for that.
Then a girl is raped on campus and everyone is extra careful about only walking around with others. Julia lives just off campus and ignores the need for caution but is nervous walking alone. She has made a friend at music classes named Marcus and another one who works at the snack bar. His name is Sam. Both are a little odd, definitely not popular, and that makes Julia more comfortable with them.
Julia's background provides the explanation for why she is the way she is. I don't want to spoil the book by telling you about it except to say it gives her very low self esteem and a scar on her upper lip that inhibits her from playing her beloved trumpet. In fact she had planned to play professionally.
All through the book I knew something horrible was going to happen, probably to Julia, but I didn't know when, how, or even why. I read carefully, gleaning clues, and still I was surprised at the way it turned out. This is really a good story, but don't read it at night alone.
Source: Publisher via Partners in Crime Book Tours