Eva Tilling is the girl who has it all…popularity, a good-looking boyfriend, and a family who is considered the top of the social echelon in the small southern town she was born and raised in. Like most of her friends whose families are connected, she follows traditional Southern etiquette, including who she can date or be friends with.
Nate used to belong, but something changed…now he’s a loner and a social paraiah, known more for his drinking and partying. His family has slowly crumbled, reflecting his reputation. He’s known Eva Tilling since they were kids and played together, but now as upperclassmen in high school, their relationship has changed. It’s non-existent, with only furtive glances and cold shoulders.
But this changes the day of the accident. Eva is now in the hospital recovering from a hit and run, trying to understand who or why it happened. She also suffers from severe brain injury and can’t remember details afterward. Her best friend has come by often to check on her, and unexpectedly Nate shows up, spending time with her. Eva couldn’t be happier about this.
But something else is bothering and scaring her. When she touches people, she can see their deaths. She’s seen her best friend in danger as well as Nate’s, but can’t see the face of the person who is behind the shadow. Then dead bodies begin to turn up, and all of them have one thing in common: Eva Tilling.
The Judge is in control, knowing who and when to attack and kill to get Eva’s attention. He knows she was made just for him and no one is going to get in the way of their love, even if it may seem maniacal and twisted. He’s leaving her breadcrumbs, waiting for her to notice and understand them. She needs to hurry or he’ll have to find another victim with another clue…
Melissa Marr has once again delved into the dark side and written a wonderful novel that will have readers asking who the murderer is until the end of the book. And that is the one perfect reason that makes any mystery book an excellent one. Marr builds suspense by making the readers continue to question if a particular character is the one, even as innocent as they seem. Not only are the characters in question, but also family dynamics and expectations these teens are required to follow. Excellent YA murder mystery and recommended for high school readers.