From the Publisher
"This well-paced thriller's contemporary setting and quirky characters make for a quick and entertaining read. The author's knowledge concerning traumatic memory loss and schizophrenia helps create an authentic and compelling story...Students who enjoyed R. L. Stine's scary stories in elementary school and are fans of Caroline B. Cooney's thrillers should find this book appealing." - VOYA Magazine
"This mystery is marked by gripping psychological suspense and the plot builds to a dramatic conclusion," - Booklist
"Avery is part of search and rescue team, and she is the one that finds Fletcher. He is beaten, bloody, and nearly unconscious. Adam is nowhere to be seen. After Fletcher is somewhat recovered, he is questioned by the police about the whereabouts of Adam. But Fletcher has no memory of the incident. All he knows is that someone killed Adam and tried to kill him-but failed.
The plot of this book was fantastic. The book had so many twists and cliffhangers it was hard to put it down. Nothing in this book was disappointing" - SLJ Teen Newsletter
"The author did a fantastic job of portraying a serious crime, while still making me feel sorry for the villain at the same time. I recommend this book to teenagers and adults because of the novel's intensity and violence. Hannah Jayne is a wonderful writer, and I will definitely be on the lookout for more from her! This is one book you simply cannot miss!" - Manhattan Book Review
"This book definitely had me on the edge of my seat. It's a psychological thriller that I simply couldn't put down...Hannah Jayne is a wonderful writer, and I will definitely be on the lookout for more from her! This is one book you simply cannot miss!" - Manhattan Book Review
"Well-written, conversational, and quick-moving, readers are given several points of view as the story develops. This is perfect for those readers in high school English classes who clamor for contemporary scary stories that are not vampires and werewolves" - School Library Connection
VOYA, June 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 2) - Lynne Farrell Stover
Avery Templeton’s father is the chief of police in Dan River Falls, where two high school students have been reported missing. Knowledgeable about police procedure and investigation techniques, she joins the search party and discovers Fletcher Carroll, a neighbor and social misfit, badly beaten and near death. When the body of Adam Marshall, a popular high school student, is later found, everyone in town is on edge. Fletcher is tormented as he struggles to remember what happened to Adam when the two of them were hiking in the woods. Avery is empathic and supportive; she too experienced a traumatic event when her mother died in a car accident. As Avery works to help Fletcher with his memory and her father solve the crime, she discovers that misguided loyalties can turn deadly. Even with some gaping plot holes, this well-paced thriller’s contemporary setting and quirky characters make for a quick and entertaining read. The author’s knowledge concerning traumatic memory loss and schizophrenia helps create an authentic and compelling story. The story’s ending is anticlimactic, however, with the main character’s father explaining what happened and how the resolution is in everyone’s best interest. Students who enjoyed R. L. Stine’s scary stories in elementary school and are fans of Caroline B. Cooney’s thrillers should find this book appealing. Reviewer: Lynne Farrell Stover; Ages 11 to 15.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—The day after popular Adam Marshall goes for a hike with loner Fletcher Carroll, the Dan River Falls police department receives a call that the two boys have vanished. Avery Templeton, daughter of the police chief, volunteers to help with a search of the local woods. Although she knows she shouldn't stray from the path, when she does, Avery finds a bruised and bloody Fletcher with no memory of the events of the previous day and no idea where Adam could be. The rumor at Dan River Falls High School is that Fletcher is guilty of murder, but Avery, who is spending more time with him, is determined to prove his innocence. Told from the viewpoints of Fletcher and Avery, this mystery is entertaining but lacks depth. Flashbacks add to the even pacing the work: as Fletcher's memories slowly reveal what happened on the hike, suspense builds, and readers begin to see potentially interesting layers to the boy's personality. But a new side of the teen is never quite revealed, and Avery remains frustratingly static; at times, her knowledge of police lingo and murder investigative procedure is more interesting than her thoughts or her actions. As it is, Avery complements Fletcher, and the dynamic between the two helps to keep readers interested. VERDICT A thriller of average quality, The Escape offers readers a slight twist to an otherwise predictable ending.—Maggie Mason Smith, Clemson University R. M. Cooper Library, South Carolina
A hiking trip turns into a crime scene, and a small town is thrown into turmoil. When the town jock Adam Marshall and weirdo Fletcher Carroll go on a routine hike, no one worries until three hours go by without any word from either of them. A search party is quickly organized, and the police chief's daughter, Avery, finds Fletcher bloody, bruised, and having no memory of what exactly happened. Adam is found dead shortly afterward, and everyone in town whispers and tries to figure out who killed the teen sports star. Unfortunately, even only partly alert readers will be able to figure out exactly who did it. A mystery this obvious is a dull read, made less enticing by the lifeless characters populating it. Clunky exposition is wrapped in a moody delivery that feels like a Xerox of a Xerox of a Veronica Mars episode. Most insulting is the author's treatment of schizophrenia, a serious disease that is worthy of careful exploration. Here it is reduced to a catchall answer for the killer's motive and weapon. It is especially unfortunate that this occurs on the second-to-last page of the book, instantly reminding many readers of the similar final moments in Psycho. It is not a good idea to point readers' attention to superior entertainment when your middling mystery is wrapping up. Hollow. (Mystery. 12-16)
Read an Excerpt
"Come on, loser!" Adam yelled over his shoulder.
Fletcher could hear Adam's laughter echoing back at him as he pumped his legs, intent on keeping the deep green of Adam's jacket in sight as he dodged through the forest.
There was no way Fletcher could catch Adam unless Adam stopped or dropped dead. Adam was the quarterback who brought Dan River Falls High School victory after victory, and Fletcher was the "weird kid" who sat at the back of the bleachers and drew in his notebook.
A second wind broke through Fletcher's chest, and he felt the burn of adrenaline rush through his legs. He fisted his hands as the cool air dried the sweat on his forehead. A loopy smile cracked across his face. He could see Adam. He was gaining on him-not fast, but steadily. Adam was caught in the crosshairs of Fletcher's gaze.
"Who you calling ‘loser'?" Fletcher called, still grinning.
Up ahead, Adam stopped, head bent, shoulders heaving as he struggled for breath. He was doubled over, staring at something on the ground. "My God, Fletch. Dude, you've got to see this."
• • •
It was just after six o'clock as Avery watched pink bleed into the sunny blue sky, casting a haze of twilight over the parking lot at the Dan River Falls Police Station. The cup of coffee that sat in front of her-more vanilla creamer than coffee-had long since gone cold.
A man strode into the room, his black uniform pressed so each crease was razor sharp. He was no-nonsense from head to toe: salt-and-pepper hair cut close to his skull, dark eyes focused, thin lips pressed together in a scowl. He walked past Avery and dropped a thick manila file folder on the giant desk.
"Dad," Avery moaned, pulling out the word. "Can we go yet?"
Chief Templeton looked at his daughter as if just noticing her-as if she hadn't been sitting there in that same spot for the last forty minutes.
"The line is going to be out the door. I'm going to starve to death while we wait."
"Not now, Avery."
"Fine. Then we're hitting the drive-through with the lights and siren on. I'm pretty sure my stomach is eating itself."
"Your stomach eating itself? Not happening, Avy."
"It happens! We talked about it in biology." It was a lie. Avery had no idea whether or not the stomach could or would eat itself. But it felt like it. She was going to launch into some other wild story to make the stern police chief crack a smile and bring him back to acting like her dad. But when he turned, Avery could see that there was no playfulness in his eyes. His lips weren't going to quirk up into a smile no matter how hard she tried. She swallowed, fear inching up the back of her neck.
"What's wrong, Dad?"
• • •
He couldn't remember the first blow, though his teeth were still rattling in his head. Had he been punched, shot, hit? His vision was a blur, and everything around him, every tree, every rock, seemed to blend together in one united mass of gray. He wasn't sure if the sky was above or below him, if the trees were standing or if he was.
The pain was dense at first, then exploded into a blinding burn. He blinked, dumbfounded, and tried to face his attacker. But his body was leaden. It was as if his feet were rooted in the soft blanket of pine needles on the damp forest ground. He knew he should roll his fingers into a fist and take a swing, but while his brain worked, his body didn't. Thoughts of action tossed around in his skull-run, yell, fight, punch-but everything moved in sickly slow motion except for the terror that overwhelmed him.
I'm going to die.
The thought came to him with a sickening dread.
I don't want to die.
Then came a gruesome thud followed by a sharp crack. The sound filled his ears before he registered that it was his bones breaking. Snap, crack. He knew another blow was coming and he tried to brace himself, balling up, wondering if the next hit would be the one that killed him.