Today’s book review is from team member Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com
Cathy chose to read and review The Haunting Of Secrets by Shelley Pickens
For all that she is caring and warm-hearted, Aimee is a loner and keeps people literally at arm’s length. It took her only friend, Dejana, a year to break through her reserve. Aimee is cursed with the ability to see, in detail, the memories of anyone she touches skin to skin. To others she appears to be weird and insular but the Goth attire of all black with long sleeves and gloves, whatever the weather, is her protection from personal contact.
When a bomb explodes in the school cafeteria, Aimee inadvertently touches someone in the ensuing confusion and chaos and is assaulted by horrific memories of torture and murder. Aimee doesn’t know who she touched, but realises it must be one of her fellow students who is the sadistic killer of her visions. She must find him before he kills again and enlists the help of Dejana and a new friend, Leah, who is a computer whizz. As Aimee recalls the killer’s memories and the friends’ gathering of information increases, it becomes apparent the killer is stalking Aimee and she is to be his next target.
Aimee is the main protagonist. She is very strong-willed and a definite survivor considering how her life has been up to this point. Most of the story is told from her perspective with occasional passages from the killer’s point of view as well as one or two others. Aimee, Dejana and Leah are the strongest characters and are at the forefront, and as the story progresses more is revealed through the memories Aimee has absorbed and the mystery and tension build quickly. I did have my suspicions as to the killer’s identity but the other twists were a complete surprise.
I enjoyed the book very much, although it was quite graphic and gory for the YA genre, but maybe that’s just my squeamishness surfacing. Even so, I would recommend this for older teens. Having said that, it’s a solid debut novel with good pacing and a distinct concept. I’ll be interested to see where the sequel takes Aimee.