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Dead connection
Charlie Price
Teen Fiction PRICE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

This superb debut novel concerns two very different individuals trying to discover the fate of a high school cheerleader who disappeared from a small California town. When Nikki vanishes without a trace, her disappearance devastates the community. In brief, compulsively readable chapters, the author shifts the perspective among various interested parties. Murray, a loner in high school who quietly converses with the spirits of dead children and adolescents in the local cemetery, hears a new voice pleading for help, and wonders whether it could be Nikki. Deputy sheriff Gates thinks that a troubled 22-year-old who has come through social services may know more than anyone suspects. Throughout this suspenseful book, Murray and Gates work separately to discover Nikki's fate, confronting some of their own demons in the process. As the author traces their encounters with a wide variety of people, each of whom brings them a little closer to discovering the girl's fate, he also demonstrates how each exchange alters not only Murray and Gates but those with whom they are in contact. Even the people in supporting roles are extremely well developed, especially the cemetery caretaker and his daughter, both of whom play crucial roles in Murray's maturation. Readers will find themselves rooting for these characters. The unexpected twist at the end may well take readers aback, but will leave them with the impression that the community will recover-and serves as a reminder that appearances can be deceiving. Ages 12-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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main characters Murray
High school student; communes with the spirits of dead children and adolescents.

Deputy sheriff

High school student; daughter of the cemetary caretaker; friends with Murray.

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