Marissa probably shouldn’t have taken this job, but she’s worried she’s grown too dependent on Amy, her best friend / director-to-her-editor / roommate. So she moves out of their apartment in LA and asks her agent to book her something. After a whirlwind interview, she’s flown to Philadelphia and picked up by an imposing man who can’t possibly be just a driver (not that being just a driver, there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just -) and driven to Lewes, Delaware, and despite Marissa’s deep fear of water, the ferry takes them to Kickout Island.
A notoriously difficult director is making a feature film and everyone’s lives difficult. He insists on perfect accuracy; they are telling a true story, after all. A girl was killed and her murderer, though everyone suspects the loner kid in the boathouse, is never convicted. But something is wrong on set. Very wrong.
Fun fact: I live 2 hours from Lewes! It’s one of my favorite beaches and I’ve been there more summers than not. I’ve even been on the Lewes-Cape May ferry a couple times, although there’s no Kickout Island stop that I know of. Probably a good thing, because I couldn’t stop myself from poking holes in what real geography was mentioned. Why wouldn’t she just fly into Salisbury? It’s way closer, and you’d have to take a layover but it’d still end up being faster than BWI or PHL. Is it summer? If so, why weren’t there pages describing how awful the beach traffic is, even for the rich and famous? I’m deadly serious, it’s a nightmare from Memorial to Labor Day.
Aside from that, I really enjoyed this book! I thought the protagonist was refreshingly different — Marissa is…. self-described as neurotic, although “autistic” or “OCD” labels might ring true. We follow her thought process which is riddled with anxious patterns and the ghosts of therapists past reminding her to take a breath every so often. Very relatable.
I liked the setting and the mystery well enough, although at times it was a little hard to follow. Marissa or another character would have an a-ha moment and I didn’t feel like I had enough clues to go with them on that journey until they spelled it out. I also think the pacing is a little back-heavy: it’s 336 pages, but I actually think a mere 25 more pages could have evened things out a little.
All in all, a pretty good mystery, although not earth shattering!