Title: In the Pines
Series: Charlie Schiffer Mysteries: Book One
Author: Laura Lascarso
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
Category: New Adult, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: I was totally entertained by this page-turner mystery. Laura Lascarso has created a well-written, intriguing, suspenseful, dark YA murder mystery, and it’s just a tad gory too.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: When your high school crush is also your number one suspect, what’s a boy to do?
After the disappearance of Eastview High’s homecoming king, seventeen-year-old Charlie Schiffer must put his detective skills to work to help class heartthrob Dare Chalmers find his missing twin brother. From the gator-filled swamps of Paynes Prairie to the truck-stop strip club Café Risqué, there’s no situation too dicey for this amateur sleuth when he’s on the prowl for clues to this mystery.
Meanwhile, Dare is everything Charlie could want in a boyfriend—charismatic, handsome, polite—but as Charlie’s mother always says, the unlikeliest people can turn out to be criminals. When evidence surfaces revealing his suspects’ hidden motives, Charlie must dig deep to suss out who among them is innocent and who is guilty, even if it means betraying the man he cares for most.
Review: Charlie Schiffer lives in Gainesville with his mother, Rebekah, who’s a detective for the GPD. Charlie is a seventeen-year-old high school student and has a GPD ID card and often assists his mother with notetaking and report writing. He does well in school, but he’s not a joiner and would rather be reading, working on analysis for cases, and spending time with Boots. Needless to say, Charlie isn’t popular with his schoolmates, especially not since he busted the Geeks and Jocks in an SAT scheme. The students have given him the nickname Dick.
Mason and Darren, aka Dare, are twin brothers born into the well-to-do Chalmers family. The twins are not perfect, they’re full of pranks and cause trouble, mostly with each other, but Mason just happened to be the main person who was caught in the SAT scheme, and it caused a big headache with the Chalmers, the principal, Charlie’s mother, and Charlie himself.
At a pep rally, Charlie tries to be selective about where he sits in order to avoid his fellow classmates, but it seems he can’t escape them. He’s somewhat leery of Dare, Mason, Joey, and Daniella because of the SAT situation, but Dare makes his way to Charlie and it brings the others around. Dare invites Charlie to his and Mason’s birthday party, but no matter Charlie’s thoughts about Dare, he doesn’t attend. When Mason goes missing, Charlie wants to help work the case with his mother, but it’s too fragile and even his mother has to take a backseat in the case. As Charlie recalls his own personal tragedy and the feelings he still has, he sympathizes with Dare. As they become closer, and even though Dare is considered a suspect, Charlie agrees to help find Mason.
Laura Lascarso has created a well-written, intriguing, suspenseful, dark YA murder mystery, and it’s just a tad gory too. It touches on loss, suicide, and depression, and how Charlie and his mother try to recover from their personal tragedy. I really liked the relationship Charlie has with his mother, no matter the ups and downs. He’s an amazing character, a good sleuth, and is the glue that holds this story together. Dare was also an interesting character; I almost thought he was guilty along with several of the secondary characters, who all have something to hide. I was totally entertained by this page-turner mystery, and now I’m looking forward to seeing what the author has in-store for Charlie in the next installment of this series.
You can buy In the Pines here:
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