Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

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The Lost Girls of Rome

Like a spider spinning a web, Donato Carrisi (The Whisperer) has intricately and stunningly crafted his sophomore thriller. The Lost Girls of Rome is a standalone novel featuring Sandra Vega, a widowed, 29-year-old forensic photographer convinced her husband was murdered after she discovers images he left in an antique camera.

In her search for answers, Vega follows these clues into the midst of a carefully kept, centuries-old Vatican secret: a group of priests, penitenzieri, who investigate the worst confessed sins of humans. One penitenziere has gone rogue, however, and is giving victims opportunities for revenge. Like her husband before her, Vega's discovery could lead straight to her death if the priest is not found and stopped.

"There is a place where the world of light meets the world of darkness," a penitenziere explains to Vega. "It is there that everything happens: in the land of shadows...." This is the atmosphere Carrisi has created for The Lost Girls of Rome, full of hidden terrors, optical illusions and flickers of hope. He expertly weaves various crimes together, making the plot complex but coherent and deceivingly strong. As he connects the various strands of his web, the final product is a striking work of art.

A few potential questions arise from weaker points in the plot, including an early inquiry into a prominent character, but the foundation of the story holds firm. Carrisi's web of words is enticingly beautiful and will seductively trap readers immediately upon entering. --Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts