The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Doubleday Canada
Source: received a review copy from Random Penguin House Canada
Awesome! I stayed up way too late because I just could not put it down without finishing it. I partly had the scenario figured out, but there were so many twists and turns that there was enough that kept me guessing. If you're familiar with the mangas "Judge" or "Doubt" you'll know where the author's idea comes from. A warehouse, with kidnapped teens who are being murdered by captors wearing masks.
For a YA book this has the violence, fast pace and psychological thrills of an adult book of the genre, yet it never stops reminding you that it is, indeed, a YA book. And there is where I have my problems and am not sure how to rate or review the book yet. Since the book starts off with a group of teens in a mental therapy group, their diagnoses become the "issues". Especially those of the two main characters. We are taken on time-outs to be given information lessons, debriefings, politically correct terminology and touchy-feely stuff about how the mentally ill are not "crazy". I personally belong to the mental health community so "get" all this, but did I want it interfering during what was otherwise an excellent thriller? No, it hindered both the tension and pacing.
The thriller was very good; a departure from Armstrong's usual paranormal fare. This was strictly realistic. The terror was high, adrenaline was rushing and the tension was virtually non-stop. No character was safe keeping the reader on the edge of their seat throughout making for an incredibly fast paced read. Character development was also awesome; I was invested in both Max and Riley and was satisfied with the realistic ending.
I hope Armstrong continues to venture out into this genre more, but I'd love to see what she can do in the mainstream adult market.