Finished Blood Will Tell by April Henry. I received a copy for review at ALA.
Summary (from Goodreads):
“What happens when someone who’s only ever wanted to be a hero becomes a suspect?
When a woman’s body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward teen who lives only a few blocks away, owns several knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of a Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. How is this even possible? And can Alexis and Ruby find a way to help clear Nick’s name before it’s too late?”
This is technically the second book in a series, but it definitely works as a standalone. (I didn’t read the first book and I was fine reading this.)
This story is one of my worst nightmares. As someone who is a huge fan of horror movies and suspense novels, I get that I would look completely suspicious if people near me started ending up dead. (Maybe only mildly suspicious since women generally aren’t serial killers, but that isn’t very comforting.) The police shouldn’t take hobbies into account but I’m sure they do. They DEFINITELY did in Nick’s case. (And isn’t everyone who likes video games fond of the first person shooter ones? I mean, they’re really popular, aren’t they? [Genuine question. I don’t really do video games myself.])
At any rate, this book is completely engrossing. The reader knows almost immediately that Nick had nothing to do with it, but the real suspense comes from seeing if he’ll continue to be a suspect and just how far the police will go to prove that he did it.
I also want to go back and read the first one. All three main characters (Nick, Ruby and Alexis) are fantastic but I definitely want to spend more time with Ruby. She reminds me of a teenage version of Holly in Mr. Mercedes and its sequels. Ruby knows SO MUCH and is able to put things together so quickly.
If you’re in the mood for a fun thriller that won’t creep you out when it’s time to go to sleep, this is for you.