THE AMERICAN GIRL
Horsley’s compelling novel explores the motivations of all the principal characters — each one has a different agenda. Deciphering the good from the bad becomes a challenge as the novel progresses, since all is not as it seems. The atmosphere of the French countryside adds texture to the psychological drama. Each character plays off another until the final challenging confrontation.
Until the time 17-year-old exchange student Quinn Perkins is the victim of a hit-and-run and goes into a coma, she keeps a blog. She is not happy in France staying with the Blavettes. Her crush on Raphael alienates his sister. The journal details her fear that she is being stalked and she makes a list of suspects after she begins receiving threatening texts and videos. She is bloodied and damaged before the crime, posing questions only she can answer. In chapters alternating with Quinn’s blog, journalist Molly Swift attempts to get the real story of the girl’s accident and the subsequent disappearance of her sponsors. She becomes a suspect in their deaths. Molly befriends Inspector Valentin in hopes of cultivating him as an inside source, but her worst fear is realized when Quinn wakes up. (WILLIAM MORROW, Aug., 432 pp., $15.99)