THE CRAZY SCHOOL
Read's latest reconnects readers with Madeline Dare, the protagonist of
her debut novel (2006's A Field of Darkness). Her sophomore effort resonates with chilling, eerie suspense and a shocking, engrossing story. This is an evenly paced mystery that gradually escalates to a mesmerizing conclusion.
Madeline believes she was drugged that evening, but when she talks to police, she's branded a suspect in the murders. Through further investigation, Madeline learns that there have been other suspicious deaths at the school over the years. The school is an odd place, with mandatory therapy and a caffeine ban for faculty as well as students. With the help of a creative defense attorney and some fellow faculty members, Madeline tries to exonerate herself and unearth the real killer. (Grand Central, Jan., 326 pp., $23.99)