When Rachel, a friend from Rose's past, starts phoning her late at night, begging Rose to return to her old prep school to save her, Rose ignores her pleas until she receives word that Rachel has died. Though the police think it was a suicide-by-drowning, Rose is suspicious, and as she questions those who knew Rachel best, a sinister back story surfaces. At the same time, Rose is battling her romantic feelings for Josh, who continues to search for their missing parents and to try to uncover the truth behind the ...
When Rachel, a friend from Rose's past, starts phoning her late at night, begging Rose to return to her old prep school to save her, Rose ignores her pleas until she receives word that Rachel has died. Though the police think it was a suicide-by-drowning, Rose is suspicious, and as she questions those who knew Rachel best, a sinister back story surfaces. At the same time, Rose is battling her romantic feelings for Josh, who continues to search for their missing parents and to try to uncover the truth behind the Butterfly Project. When Rose discovers a secret from Rachel's past that could be a link to Rose and Josh's parents, finding Rachel's killer becomes personal. But will the people behind the Butterfly Project find her first?
Seventeen-year-old Rose's mother, Kathy, mysteriously disappeared five years ago with her stepbrother Joshua's father, Brendan. Both parents are police officers. Rose and Joshua are told the disappearances are due to a case their parents worked on, and that they are most likely dead. However, Rose and Joshua uncover clues that may lead to the cause of their disappearance. They are hopeful they are still alive. Now Rose and Joshua are on an adventure to find their missing parents, and will risk their lives to uncover the truth. Meanwhile, Rose tries to avoid her former friend, Rachel, whom she met while attending girls' school. Rose is tired of Rachel's lies. Rachel even tells Rose that she saw Kathy and Brendan a few towns away. Not believing her, Rose ignores Rachel's numerous telephone calls and emails until Rose discovers Rachel has been murdered. A thrilling story that will lead readers wanting to know more, this book is part of The Murder Notebooks series. It is not necessary to read prior books in the series to understand this book. Reviewer: Tina Chan
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Rose Smith, 17, is the type of girl who works hard to earn good grades and doesn't take too much for granted. It is still five years since her mother, a detective, went missing, along with "stepbrother" Joshua's father. Rose is too skeptical to get drawn in to Joshua's amateur sleuthing, but when Rachel, once Rose's close friend, starts sending her letters and then drowns in a lake at the Mary Linton School in the English countryside, Rose feels compelled to return and ask questions. Rachel was as unlikable as Rose is solid. She had some disturbing habits, such as a tendency to lie one minute and ask forgiveness the next. Cassidy does a fine job of balancing Rachel's reports of seeing the ghost of another girl who died with the everyday things experienced but not seen, and Rose's sense that what she's starting to feel for Joshua may not be appropriate. The novel's excellent plot turns on whether or not the truth should come out not only when people we love are concerned, but also when people we don't much like at all are victims.—Georgia Christgau, Middle College High School, Long Island City, NY
A limp murder mystery, needlessly prolonged. The second installment in Cassidy's Murder Notebooks series takes 42 pages of awkward exposition to bring readers up to speed on the events of the preceding volume (Dead Time, 2012). As with the first book, Cassidy employs stiff dialogue and clipped sentences to describe Rose and her stepbrother Josh's interminable investigation into the disappearance of their parents five years earlier. Meanwhile, Rachel, Rose's former frenemy from boarding school, reappears in her life with a litany of desperate letters and phone calls, then conveniently provides surprising evidence that the missing parents are still alive just before she herself drowns under mysterious circumstances. Supernatural red herrings abound, as do unsettling references to romantic tension between the stepsiblings. The diversionary plot device feebly resolves itself when the killer, unprompted, confesses. Rose and Josh stumble upon a few important clues this time, but this wooden tale does not deliver significant intrigue. For enthusiastic fans of amateur detectives only. (Mystery. 12-16)
Anne Cassidy lives in Essex. She was a teacher for twenty years. Her first book was published in 1991 and she has published over twenty teen novels. She is the author of Looking for JJ, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award 2004 and the Carnegie Medal 2005 and was winner of the 2004 Booktrust Teenage Book Award.