Dark Secrets 2 by Elizabeth Chandler
|Dark Secrets 2 by Elizabeth Chandler|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Another pairing of books by Elizabeth Chandler is almost as good as the superb first Dark Secrets book was. When you're looking for thrills, romance, excitement and strong female heroines, she's definitely an author you should check out.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 599||Date: May 2010|
|Publisher: Simon Pulse|
Those of you who read my review of the first Dark Secrets bind-up will know I absolutely loved that book. This is a similar proposition – two average-sized teen novels packaged together in a very good value volume. Both are set in Wisteria, Maryland. Both feature teenage girls looking for closure on past events, with dark secrets buried in their past – and both are guaranteed to capture the imagination of their target audience of teen girls, and of a fair few other readers besides.
No Time To Die sees gymnast Jenny follow in the footsteps of her actress sister Lisa to a drama camp But this isn't for a family reunion – Lisa was murdered at the camp, apparently the victim of a serial killer, and Jenny quickly becomes aware of her sister's presence still being felt. Was she really killed by a homicidal maniac, or did someone just make it look that way? With help from her sister's ex-boyfriend, who she grows close to, Lisa tries to solve the mystery – but every step she takes towards the solution puts her further in danger herself.
The Deep End of Fear, which was my favourite of the two, sees Kate return to her childhood home of Wisteria after her father's death. Her family had left abruptly after her best friend Ashley was drowned in a pond, and she only goes back to return a ring to Ashley's father. On meeting Ashley's half-brother Patrick, she instead stays to tutor him – but Patrick appears to be haunted by Ashley, and Kate is left frantically trying to save him from both his unfeeling family and the influence of her dead former friend. Her only aid in doing so comes from Patrick's hero, local hockey star Sam Koscinski, who falls for her nearly as soon as they meet.
Both books are fairly similar in tone and subject, just like the pair in the first Dark Secrets compilation – you certainly know what you're getting when you read an Elizabeth Chandler story. That's by no means a criticism, she consistently delivers at a much higher standard than usual for the genre. I love the strong heroines and the relationships between them and the boys they fall for, and her villains are fairly well-rounded characters, although I do think the ending to the first of the two books is a little bit melodramatic. Still, that's small criticism of a pair of stories which are thoroughly enjoyable, extremely easy to read, and certain to have teens following eagerly.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
Further reading: Spoilt for choice as normal when it comes to recommending supernatural teen fiction, but I think I'll suggest that many people who enjoy this would love LJ Smith's Forbidden Game trilogy.
You can read more book reviews or buy Dark Secrets 2 by Elizabeth Chandler at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Dark Secrets 2 by Elizabeth Chandler at Amazon.com.
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