Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Other Side of Dark by Joan Lowery Nixon

I gave this mystery a rating of four out of five. Imagine you've gone to sleep as a thirteen-year-old girl , and you're seventeen when you awaken. Stacy is told that she's been in a four-year coma since the day she was shot by her mother's murderer. She now lives in the body of a high school junior, but her mind is that of a seventh grader. Stacy remembers that she saw the murderer right before he shot her, but she can't picture his face. She thinks it's someone she knows. The conflict heats up when news reporters spread the word that Stacy may be able to identify the killer. She starts getting threatening phone calls and doesn't know which people she's able to trust. Are boys showing an interest in her because of her looks, or is one of them the killer?

The author does a great job of building up the suspense. She introduces a number of possible suspects, and several of the threatening phone messages hint that the killer may have a friend helping him. The story is told from Stacy's point of view, so the thoughts of a teenage girl may not appeal to male readers. I thought the mystery was developed well and should be enjoyed by most readers. My biggest problem was how Stacy's family and friends weren't more protective of her when she returned home from the hospital. Leaving your daughter home alone the first day back after awakening from a four-year coma and a killer loose? Taking your friend to a party of strangers a few days later? It makes for good drama.

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