From School Library Journal
Grade 7–10—Aphra Behn Connolly lives on a tropical island at the resort her father owns. She misses her friends and mother back home in South Carolina, and has no chance to meet cute guys. Then a mysterious boy named Adam Smith and his parents arrive unannounced and without a reservation. The chemistry between Aphra and Adam is undeniable. However, her dad warns her to stay away from him. Soon after the Smiths arrive, a guest turns up dead on the beach, strangled with her own bikini top. Aphra does a little investigation into the Smiths' background and is surprised by what she finds. Readers will realize from the onset that the Smiths are on the run from something. This is a quick read, but teens who have any sleuthing skills will be able to figure out what is happening about halfway through the book.—Shannon Seglin, Patrick Henry Library, Vienna, VA
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Sixteen-year-old Aphra enjoys an enviable life at the secluded tropical island resort her father runs, but she aches for her mom, who left without explanation four years earlier, and for friends her age. Then the mysterious Smith family arrives, and Aphra feels a strong attraction to their cute teenage son, Adam, even as she struggles with her father’s strange reaction to the family. After a hotel guest is strangled on the beach, Aphra’s questions about the Smiths intensify: What are they hiding? Is there some connection to Aphra’s mom? Is Adam’s dad a killer? Gerber, the author of several novels in the S.A.S.S. series, spins a suspenseful mystery that makes the most of its lush setting. A few plot points feel shaky (such as the killer’s motive for the beach attack), but the vividly described, adrenaline-flooded chases through the rain forest, the romantic tension between Aphra and Adam, and the revelation of Aphra’s family’s secrets will capture mystery fans. The open ending promises further Aphra Connolly adventures. Grades 7-10. --Gillian Engberg