Lois Duncan's revived young-adult titles don't have to rely on vampires and dystopias to raise a chill.
For a certain swath of American female thirty-somethings, the literary thriller comes with an odd set of associations. In addition to the windswept heaths of Wuthering Heights and Manderley, such books will likely conjure the pine-lined hiking trails of New Mexico, the fiercely policed social boundaries of classrooms and high school cafeterias, and beachy redoubts where teenagers would do well to avoid slippery black rocks.
As for the cast of characters, these readers won't tarry with either hockey-masked predators or moody Heathcliffs with a past. Instead, they will knowingly recognize boys who smell of gum and old tennis shoes and routinely fail to clear their bowls of congealing cereal; delicate-boned girls with steely resolve, standing in opposition to snub-nosed, popularity-hungry counterparts; harried mothers
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