Sara Shepard has done it again. The Amateurs is another exciting, enthralling, and captivating mystery by the queen of plot twists and “I never saw that coming!” Prepare to be wrapped up in a whole new mystery with these new characters that are complex and creatively written and take you on a journey filled with danger and surprises at every turn.
The murder of beautiful, popular high school senior Helena Kelly has plagued the town of Dexby, Connecticut since her disappearance five years ago. The lack of answers or suspects and strange circumstances surrounding her death still haunts her little sister Aerin Kellly, who was the last known person to see her alive. What began as a day spent bonding with her sister Helena while out playing in the snow like they had done so many times before Helena had become “too cool” to hang out with her 11 year-old sister, turned into the worst day of Aerin’s life. Aerin had gone inside to retrieve a purse to add to their snow-woman at Helena’s request, and by the time she returned, Helena was nowhere to be found. All that was left behind of Helena were the gloves she had been wearing. It was like she had vanished into thin air, and Aerin has been burdened by the sense of guilt she feels ever since; what if she had never gone inside? Would Helena still be alive? Feeling lost and with Helena’s case growing colder by the day, Aerin decides to post about her sister’s case on the website “Case Not Closed,” an online community dedicated to solving and investigating cold cases.
Aerin’s post is read by Seneca Frazier, a college student who frequently posts on Case Not Closed and has taken a special interest in investing Helena’s case. Seneca, without many friends, has become close to a fellow poster on the site named Maddy. The two have spent hours chatting and after months of correspondence decide to meet up in Maddy’s hometown, which just so happens to be Dexby, Connecticut, the town where Helena lived and was last seen alive. After reading Aerin’s post, they are determined to meet her and try and help her get the answers she has hoped for. When the two meet, Seneca is shocked to find out that the person she has been talking to all this time and had assumed was a girl, is actually an attractive guy named Maddox. Due to the mix-up, the easy rapport they had developed, often telling each other things they’d never shared with anyone else, has been replaced by awkward small talk and palpable tension. Despite the awkwardness that lingers between them, the two set out to meet Aerin, and although she’s reluctant at first, she begins to let them assist her in her search for answers. They also meet fellow poster on Case Not Closed, Brett Grady, and the four of them begin their investigation.
Aerin and the others begin to find information that the police missed in their initial investigation, and with each new clue that leads them closer to the truth, a series of dangerous events begins to put obstacles in their way that are far too suspicious to be coincidental. The deeper they delve into Helena’s disappearance, the more they find themselves in danger and it becomes obvious that someone doesn’t want them finding out the truth. Despite the danger, the four of them are more determined than ever to find Helena’s killer and finally get the justice she deserves and the closure Aerin and her family need.
The book has carefully crafted twists and turns, and an ending that will leave you speechless and begging for the next book in this series from the master of Young Adult mysteries, Sara Shepard. Fans of Pretty Little Liars and her other series will LOVE this book. Although it’s aimed at Young Adults, fans of Shepard who have grown up with her unique take on the mystery genre like I have will love it also. I can’t say enough good things about this book, and I tried to give you guys as much information about the book as I can without giving anything away because I wouldn’t want to spoil such an addicting and juicy book for potential readers!
If you’d like to pre-order The Amateurs, you can do so here!
If you missed my interview with Sara where I get the scoop on her new book and other projects she’s working on, and of course Pretty Little Liars, you can read it here!
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Hope you all enjoyed the review and pick a copy of the book when it’s released on November 1st!