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The Edge of the Shadows
Cover of The Edge of the Shadows
The Edge of the Shadows
The first fire may have been an accident, but what about the second? And the third—the one that killed someone. Becca King and her friends wonder if one of the newcomers to the island is to blame. Perhaps it's Isis Martin's brother, Aidan, just home from a school for troubled teens. Or Parker Natalia, a talented musician fired by his bandmates for unknown reasons.

Meanwhile, Becca's education in the paranormal continues, as fellow psychic Diana Kinsale encourages her to explore her growing extrasensory abilities.

Beautiful Whidbey Island may seem like a tranquil haven, but all is not as it seems.

The third book in the Whidbey Island saga confirms Elizabeth George's place as a top-notch writer of suspense novels.
The first fire may have been an accident, but what about the second? And the third—the one that killed someone. Becca King and her friends wonder if one of the newcomers to the island is to blame. Perhaps it's Isis Martin's brother, Aidan, just home from a school for troubled teens. Or Parker Natalia, a talented musician fired by his bandmates for unknown reasons.

Meanwhile, Becca's education in the paranormal continues, as fellow psychic Diana Kinsale encourages her to explore her growing extrasensory abilities.

Beautiful Whidbey Island may seem like a tranquil haven, but all is not as it seems.

The third book in the Whidbey Island saga confirms Elizabeth George's place as a top-notch writer of suspense novels.
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    Island County Fairgrounds

    The third fire happened at Island County Fairgrounds in August, and it was the first one to get serious attention. The other two weren't big enough. One was set in a trash container outside the convenience store at a forested place called Bailey's Corner, which was more or less in the middle of nowhere, so no one thought much about it. Some dumb practical joke with a sparkler after the Fourth of July, right? Then, when the second flamed up along the main highway, right at the edge of a struggling little farmers' market, pretty much everyone decided that that one took off because an idiot had thrown a lit cigarette from his car window right in the middle of the driest season of the year.

    But the third fire was different. Not only because it happened at the fairgrounds, which were just yards away from the middle school and less than a quarter mile from the village of Langley, but also because the flames began during the county fair when hundreds of people were milling around a midway.

    A girl called Becca King was among them, along with her boyfriend and her best girl friend: Derric Mathieson and Jenn McDaniels. The three were a study in contrasts, with Becca light-haired, trim from months of bicycle riding, and wearing heavy-rimmed glasses and enough makeup to suggest she was auditioning for membership in the reincarnation of the rock band Kiss; Derric tall, well-built, shaven-headed, African, and gorgeous; and Jenn all sinew and attitude, hair cut like a boy's and tan from a summer of intense soccer practice. These three were sitting in the bleachers set back from an outdoor stage upon which a group called the Time Benders was about to begin performing.

    It was Saturday night, the night that drew the most people to the fairgrounds because it was also the night when the entertainment was, as Jenn put it, "marginally less suicide-inducing than the other days." Those other days the entertainment consisted of tap dancers, yodelers, magicians, fiddlers, and a one-man band. On Saturday night an Elvis impersonator and the Time Benders comprised what went for the highlight of the fair.

    For Becca King, with a lifetime spent in San Diego and just short of one year in the Puget Sound area, the fair was like everything else she'd discovered on Whidbey Island: something in miniature. The barn-red buildings were standard stuff, but their size was minuscule compared to the vast buildings she was used to at the Del Mar racetrack where the San Diego County Fair took place. This held true for the stables for horses, sheep, cattle, alpacas, and goats. It was doubly true for the performance ring where the dogs were shown and the horses were ridden. The food, however, was the same as it was at county fairs everywhere, and as the Time Benders readied themselves to take the stage after Elvis's final bow during which he nearly lost his wig, Becca and Derric and Jenn were chowing down on funnel cake and kettle corn.

    The crowd, who turned up to watch the Time Benders every single year, was gearing up its excitement level for the performance. It didn't matter that the act would be the same as last August and the August before that and the one before that. The Time Benders were a real crowd pleaser in a place where the nearest mall was a ferry ride away and first-run movies were virtually unheard of. So a singing group who performed rock 'n' roll through the ages by altering their wigs and their costumes and re-enacting the greatest hits of the 1950s onwards was akin to a mystical appearance by Kurt Cobain, especially if you had any imagination.

    Jenn was grousing. Watching the Time Benders was bad enough, she...

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  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2015

    Gr 8 Up-Mystery author George continues the story of Becca King, who can hear the "whispers" of other people's thoughts. On the run from her evil stepfather, Becca was left on Whidbey Island by her mother in The Edge of Nowhere (2012) and found her powers beginning to grow even as she wove her life into the fabric of the island in The Edge of the Water (2014, both Viking). This time around, the arrival of three new teen islanders at the same time as an arsonist begins menacing the town throws Becca's world into chaos. Isis and Aiden, siblings from Palo Alto, CA, immediately raise suspicions, while Parker, a handsome fiddler from Canada, pursues two friends with hurtful results. When the arsonist burns down an abandoned house, killing a homeless man inside while the teens of Whidbey party nearby, the protagonist and her friends begin separate investigations of the newcomers, searching for the truth. Many plot threads are left dangling for subsequent books, including where Becca's mother is, why Aiden is so interested in Becca's past, mentor Diana's seemingly failing health, and whether the heroine will truly ever be safe from her stepfather. Still, the central mystery wraps up nicely, if a bit hastily, and readers eager to revisit the residents of Whidbey Island will find much to love here. VERDICT An enjoyable, if overly long, addition to the mysteries of Whidbey Island.-Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla, Darien Library, CT

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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