The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab
"Ariel's birthday weekend looks to be the event of the season, with a private concert by rock star Hudson Winters on the grounds of her family's east coast estate, and all of Ariel's elite prep school friends in attendance. The only person who's dreading the party is Sera, Ariel's former best friend, whose father is forcing her to go. Sera has been the school pariah since she betrayed Ariel, and she now avoids Ariel and their former friends. Thrown together, Ariel and Sera can agree on one thing: this could be one very long night.
They have no idea just how right they are.
Only moments after the concert begins and the lights go down, thugs open fire on parents and schoolmates alike, in a plot against Ariel's father that quickly spins out of control. As the entire party is taken hostage, the girls are forced apart. Ariel escapes into the hidden tunnels in the family mansion, where she and Sera played as children. Only Sera, who forges an unlikely alliance with Hudson Winters, knows where her friend could be. As the industrial terrorist plot unravels and the death toll climbs, Ariel and Sera must recall the sisterhood that once sustained them as they try to save themselves and each other on the longest night of their lives."- summary from Amazon
I absolutely adored Benedis-Grab's debut, Alive and Well in Prague, NY, and had been looking forward to another book from her for YEARS. I was so excited to hear about this new book, and even more so when she sent me an advance copy.
It did take me a bit of time to get into the book. It just didn't jump out at me, but since the book is so short (it takes place in one evening), it wasn't too long before the action started. Once that happened, I flew through it. The mystery was intriguing, and I really enjoyed seeing it unravel as I read the book. I also really liked the interaction between Sera and Hudson; it was just fun seeing those two together forging a friendship that evolved into a little bit more.
I also liked the dual narrative going on; it was interesting to go back and forth between these ex-friends and seeing what they're going through. The climax was handled really well and realistically, I think. When I got to that, I was flipping the pages so quickly just to get to the end.
Overall, a good book, but I will admit that it wasn't as good as her debut. But if you're looking for an action-packed, intense mystery, this is it. I do also suggest checking out her debut too, which is kind of the opposite of this book in terms of tone.
FTC: Received ARC from author. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.