If you love Agatha Christie’s classic play The Mousetrap, or you’re longing for a good high school theater production, you should read Two Truths and a Lie by April Henry. It’s packed with classic characters from stage play whodunits, updated for more realistic diversity of course, and it’s an homage to theater and murder mysteries.
Nell and her theater friends are on their way to a conference and competition, and their spirits are high – until a blizzard chases them off the road and into a weird motel in the middle of nowhere. It’s full of strange knick-knacks, it’s oddly laid out, and it’s nearly deserted, except for a few truckers, a handyman, and the owner. Luckily another group of high schoolers turns up similarly stranded, and the evening turns to games and flirtation. But during a group session of Two Truths and a Lie, a terrifying anonymous message is found: “I like to watch people die. I’ve lost track of how many people I’ve killed.” When students start to go missing it’s a terrifying scramble to find them and figure out the truth, even as the storm gets worse outside…
Tropes and references to horror movies and stage plays (Agatha Christie in particular) abound; these are theater kids, after all, and so the book can read as staged in places. Also familiar is the love triangle/mysterious love interest, but the other characters are diverse in race, religion, and sexuality in an authentic way. The plot is also suspenseful enough to keep you hooked and full of twists and surprises.
Don’t miss this snowed-in teen thriller for chills of all kinds! This title is also available on Overdrive.