Wednesday, April 15, 2009

CSI for the High School Set

If you like CSI and other forensic mystery TV shows and movies, you should enjoy The Christopher Killer, by Alane Ferguson. Cassie is a high school student whose father is the town's coroner (the guy who picks up dead bodies and then, if necessary, performs an autopsy to find out cause of death). Cassie wants to be a forensic scientist, so she is always reading about how the police use clues from murder scenes to catch the killers. In the beginning of the novel, Cassie's father is beginning to get swamped at work, so he asks Cassie to be his assistant, much to her delight. She struggles a bit with her first dead body, but is interested in the work and enjoys using what she's learned from her extracurricular studying. She and the town are shocked to the core, however, when one of her high school friends is found dead in the woods. It's determined that the girl is the latest victim of the Christopher Killer, a serial killer who has been murdering girls across the country, always placing a small St. Christopher medallion somewhere on their bodies. Can Cassie get beyond her personal grief and help avenge the death of her friend by finding the killer, without becoming a victim herself? I liked this book a lot because of Cassie's strength as the protagonist, and for its combination of science, suspense, and teenage relationships and friendships. I was also pretty satisfied with the ending. 3 1/2 out of 4 Bananas!

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