Published by: Dunemere Books
Publication Date: March 6th, 2018
Giveaway – Ends March 29, 2018
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Could you sleep next to a murderer?
Luke Chase – yes, that Luke Chase, a modern hero ripped from the headlines – didn’t mean to get caught up in Mrs. Heckler’s murder. He just wanted to hook up with the hot new British girl at St. Benedict’s, and if that meant sneaking out to the woods after hours, then so be it. But little did he know someone would end up dead right next to their rendezvous spot, and his best friend and roommate Oscar Weymouth would go down for it. With suspects aplenty and a past that’s anything but innocent, Luke Chase reluctantly calls on his famous survival skills to find the true killer.
For fans of A Study in Charlotte and boarding school lit, Sneaking Out (book one in the “Chased” series) immerses readers in the privileged prep school world, with a mystery that exposes the dark side of life on a residential high school campus.
About the Author
Chuck Vance is a pseudonym for a bestselling writer of both adult mysteries and novels for young adults. Vance attended boarding school in Connecticut and graduated from Columbia University. Vance has lived in New York, Moscow, London, Paris and Los Angeles and is frequently on the move.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Transported to a small town, where the local boarding school is the town’s lifeblood, the reader is immediately immersed in Luke and Oscar’s friendship dynamics. Bad boy, Oscar, convinces Luke to betray his good-boy ways to sneak out to the woods to meet up with girls after hours. The punishment for being caught is expulsion, so when they suddenly begin to hear voices in the woods their objective suddenly becomes focused on returning to their room unscathed. However, when a body of the dean’s wife turns up the next day, bad boy Oscar is quickly made a suspect. With no previous sleuthing experience, Luke quickly works to clear Oscar’s name. Although painful memories from the past will be dragged out in the process, for all those involved.
When I read that this book was “for fans of A Study in Charlotte” I knew I had to get my hands on it. I LOVE the Charlotte Holmes series and any YA fiction that even slightly resembles it, and Sneaking Out did not disappoint. While I had a few hesitations, I found the overall storyline was not compromised by them. My hesitations included: (1) The number of adult characters that were introduced, for instance one ex-ex-wife was tracked down and provided us with insignificant dialogue that did little to sway the path of Luke’s investigation and (2) The lack of detail provided about Luke’s past. It is clear Luke has undergone a kidnapping and subsequent survivalist escape, but otherwise Luke’s family, history and upbringing are hardly touched upon. It is possible Luke’s past was kept minimal for future books in the series, but as the lead off book it would have been helpful to have been given a few more glimpses of our main character’s background.
Regardless, the author left it clear that book two would further dive into characters’ pasts while continuing the action, excitement and adventure that made book one, Sneaking Out, so enjoyable.
*Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was provided to me as part of this blog tour in exchange for an honest review.