A Line in the Dark
“A twisty, dark psychological thriller that will leave you guessing til the very end."—Teen Vogue
“[A] riveting read…"—NPR
The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.
Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. If nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more a curse than a gift.
As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.
When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.
“It doesn’t even matter that she probably doesn’t understand how much she means to me. It’s purer this way. She can take whatever she wants from me, whenever she wants it, because I’m her best friend.”
A Line in the Dark is a story of love, loyalty, and murder.
★ "Mesmerizing."—Kirkus, starred review.
In this unusually structured murder mystery, Lo (Inheritance) explores the knotty jealousies, romantic longings, and class disparities among students at a pair of Massachusetts high schools. The first half of the novel is seen through the eyes of Jess Wong, a Chinese-American 16-year-old, who is in love with her best friend Angie but afraid to admit it. She's even more reluctant to do so after Angie begins dating Margot, a popular athlete from a nearby private school. In addition to worrying that she's losing Angie, Jess clashes with Margot's friend Ryan, which turns Jess into a potential suspect after Ryan goes missing after a party and is eventually found dead. Jess's insecurities and simmering emotions are palpable in her first-person narration, and the superhero comics she draws, which features a similar love triangle, further muddy the waters of the mystery behind Ryan's death. Lo pivots halfway in, finishing the story through a mix of transcript of police interviews and third-person chapters, deepening the mystery, shifting potential guilt among multiple possible culprits, and keeping readers guessing until the final pages. Ages 14 up.