by Gretchen McNeil
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And their doom comes swiftly. It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury. But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?
I love a good mystery and when I heard Ten was a thriller adapted from Agatha Christie’s novel And Then There Were None I immediately preordered it. McNeil delivered a suspenseful, gripping and entertaining thriller that kept me guessing until the end. I consumed this in a single day and loved it.
Ten is a fantastic thriller that takes place on Henry Island located off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. Meg and Minnie two high school seniors are heading by ferry to the island for the hottest, hippest party of the year. When they arrive on the island, they find only eight other people have been invited. Stranger still, they don’t all know each other and attend different schools. The host has been delayed and won’t arrive until morning. They make themselves at home and kick back a few beers as storm rages outside. They gather round to watch a movie and pop in a DVD. It contains an eerie, sinister message that declares, “Vengeance is mine”. The tale that unfolds is suspenseful, creepy and kept me captivated to the last page.
I loved the “Breakfast Club” mix of personalities invited to the island. The protagonist Meg, is pretty grounded and plans to be a writer. She looks out for her friends and often puts their needs first. She tends to be an observer and a bit awkward, but I liked her. Minnie is loud, crass and has serious mental health issues. While I felt sorry for her, I also loathed her. TJ is a very handsome, a polite boy that Minnie has crushed on forever. The rest of the teens have all different personalities. From the jock to the know-it-all bitch. McNeil cleverly portrayed them so that some you liked and others you did not. The romance that develops was sweet and genuine. I loved watching it develop and it created a nice diversion from the killings!
While the tale is told in the third person, Meg drives most of the tale. McNeil did a fantastic job of letting this tale unfold. There is a fine art to revealing clues to the reader, and hers were quite ingenious. Midway through the book, we knew the connection between the teens, but not the why or how. McNeil, kept me guessing as to who the killer was. I did solve it but had to wait to find out the how and why. I loved every tantalizing moment of it. The entire book was well paced, as the suspense kept building. The last quarter of the book moved at a blindingly delicious speed that had my heart racing. The climatic ending was epic and had me gripping my nook as the scene unfolded. As the final details were revealed, all the puzzle pieces McNeil had subtlety provided fell into place. I love that moment; that feeling when you see the whole picture and believe. It was incredibly done, and I loved every spine-chilling moment.
Ten will delight fans of mystery and suspense. This thriller kept me completely entertained and is the perfect fall read. Gretchen McNeil weaves a fine tale and I look forward to reading more of her work.