Two can keep a secret

Karen M. McManus

Book - 2019

While true-crime afficionado Ellery and her twin brother are staying with their grandmother in a Vermont community known for murder, a new friend goes missing and Ellery may be next.

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New York : Delacorte Press [2019]
First edition
Physical Description
327 pages ; 22 cm
Main Author
Karen M. McManus (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

McManus follows up her smash hit debut, One of Us Is Lying? (2017), with another twisted mystery centered around wily teens. Echo Ridge is an idyllic small town in all ways but one: five years ago, homecoming queen Lacy Kildare was strangled, her body left in the presciently named Murderland theme park. The park changed its name, but the town never moved on—Lacy's body may have been the first one to turn up, but she wasn't the first girl to go missing. Ellery and her twin brother, Ezra, have just moved to Echo Ridge to live with their grandmother while their mom, whose own twin vanished in high school, undergoes a stint in rehab. When another girl goes missing, true-crime obsessive Ellery is determined to find the truth. But Echo Ridge is dangerous, and she and her family may be more involved than she knows. This is as much a social commentary as it is a layered mystery, and a somewhat abrupt finale won't keep readers from speeding their way to the end. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

A dead body in the middle of the road (the high school's science teacher) welcomes twins Ellery and Ezra Corcoran, 17, to their new home in Echo Ridge, Vt., where they've been sent to live with their estranged grandmother during their mother Sadie's court-appointed rehab for opioid addiction. Ellery, a true-crime buff, uses the opportunity to look into Echo Ridge's notorious unsolved mysteries: the disappearance of Sadie's identical twin sister after Sadie was crowned homecoming queen 23 years earlier, and the murder of Lacey Kilduff, the homecoming queen found strangled at Murderland, the local Halloween theme park, five years ago. After the science teacher dies, Ellery is nominated for the homecoming court, and someone begins to threaten Ellery and the other two nominees for queen, tagging signs and promising a Murderland redux. When one of the two possible queens goes missing, Ellery dons her amateur detective hat, putting herself and her loved ones in danger. With complex characters and intricate plotting, McManus (One of Us Is Lying) delivers a fast-paced, twisty whodunit. Ages 14–up. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Jan.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 8 Up{amp}ndash;Twins Ellery and Ezra are traveling to Echo Ridge for the first time. Ellery, a passionate true-crime buff, knows all about the town's unpleasant history{amp}mdash;their aunt disappeared there at age 17, and just five years ago, the high school homecoming queen was murdered. Not long after, the teens settle in and land jobs at Fright Farm, the Halloween theme park where the slain homecoming queen was found. Soon, threats against the homecoming court begin popping up anew, and then another girl goes missing from Echo Ridge. Ellery becomes a target, as well. The story is told in alternating chapters by Ellery and Malcolm, whose brother was implicated in the murder of the homecoming queen; however, neither Ellery, Malcolm, nor any of the work's supporting characters are fully fleshed out. The three separate mysteries in Echo Ridge can be overwhelming to keep track of at times. While the character building may be lacking, and the story line may occasionally confuse, the history of Echo Ridge does intertwine nicely with Ellery's own family history and moves the plot along. What little romance is included serves to further the plot. Every character will be a suspect at least once, and when the mystery finally unravels, readers may not grasp the full repercussions of the conclusion for a long time. VERDICT For readers who have outgrown "Fear Street" and are looking for a similar sort of tension, mystery, and murder.{amp}mdash;Maggie Mason Smith, Clemson University, SC Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Forced to return to the picturesque town where her aunt went missing as a teen and a homecoming queen was murdered five years earlier, Ellery navigates an anonymous assailant's threats about the school's homecoming events while uncovering dark community secrets. By the best-selling author of One of Us Is Lying. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The "must-read YA thriller" (Bustle) from #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying about a small town with deadly secrets.

"When it comes to YA suspense, Karen M. McManus is in a league of her own..." --Entertainment Weekly

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.
Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

Fans of the hit thriller that started it all can watch the secrets of the Bayview Four be revealed in the One of Us is Lying TV series now streaming on NBC's Peacock!