In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own.
No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.
Charlie Price's double lives collide after the debris of his parents' Cessna is discovered off the coast of the North Sea, and the police surmise that he was killed in the wreck. At a memorial service in Paris, Charlie's girlfriend of three years, Lena, meets his long-distance fling, Aubrey, who knew a calculatedly different version of the 20-year-old. Eager to discover what else Charlie was hiding and unable to shake the feeling that he could be alive, Lena persuades her new frenemy to embark on a globe-trotting journey following the clues before them. Ricocheting between Lena and Aubrey's first-person narratives, Heltzel (Circle Nine) initially relies too heavily on frequent reminders that spoiled, rich Lena and seemingly sheltered Aubrey have their own devious secrets, in addition to the lies behind Charlie's personas. But as the layers of each character's duplicity are carefully revealed, the unearthing of blackmail, revenge, red herrings, and more makes for a thrilling and immersive tale of manipulation as wily as Charlie himself. Ages 14 up.