Set on Whidbey Island in the state of Washington, where the author also lives, this novel has enough plot to keep a whole series going let alone a single title. It involves a set of young people, some of whom belong to local families often struggling to get by. They are joined by recent incomers, one of whom, Becca King, has the ability to hear what others are thinking. We first met Becca in The Edge of Nowhere; this is now her third fictional outing. Her psychic ability would seem to give her an advantage when it comes to tracing who is responsible for an outbreak of arson on the island, but even so the solution to the mystery is only solved at the end of this densely written story. Before that, she conducts a strong teenage romance also knowing what the other person is thinking and feeling at the time – not always an easy matter.
Elizabeth George is an experienced writer, and hooked-up fans will find everything here that entertained them in the previous two books. Others, new to the genre, may find that one teenage character is sometimes difficult to distinguish from another, and that the author’s very firm hand on the fictional tiller leads to a certain over-explanatory tone in the text that can become wearisome. But there are still plenty of surprises along the way, and teenage love is described with admirable frankness, which is not always the case when writing for a young adult audience.