THE MASKED TRUTH by Kelley Armstrong
As Riley Vasquez was babysitting one evening, upstairs entertaining the little one so the parents could leave the house without the crying scene, masked intruders broke in. Riley, hid under the bed as shots were fired downstairs, discovering later that the little girl’s parents had been killed. Despite the fact that by hiding she undoubtedly saved the child’s life Riley suffered survivor’s guilt. Her therapist suggested an overnight therapy group may help her open up about what happened in order to deal with her trauma more effectively. Things did not quite happen that way. Just as everyone was arriving for the “therapy weekend” masked intruders broke into the facility holding all the patients and the two counselors hostage. That is until the shooting started. Riley has only herself and Max Cross to depend on to get them out of there. Unfortunately, Max is schizophrenic and has a hard time discerning what’s real and what’s imaginary.
This YA novel is a step away from Ms. Armstrong’s usual paranormal fare. It was a well-written book that kept me turning the pages. Yes, a little reality suspension was necessary. Yes, the characters were a little cliché – the strong (thinks she’s not) heroine, the flawed hero, unbelieving parents and bad guys that were a little over the top. Some of the action was a little repetitive as well, but the book certainly gave you action. I’m rating this one three stars. Being a constant reader of Ms. Armstrong’s books, including most of her YA books, this story felt like a bit of a rehash of “The Darkest Powers” trilogy without the paranormal edge … teenagers running from the bad adults, hiding, running and finally having to deal with everything one their own.
It was still a good read just, in my opinion, not one of the most original of her books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from her website)
I’ve been telling stories since before I could write. My earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, mine would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to my teachers’ dismay. All efforts to make me produce “normal” stories failed. Today, I continue to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in my basement writing dungeon.