Author: Alexandra Monir
Publication: Delacorte Press (November 15, 2016)
Description: One dead body, one photograph, one compromising secret. Everyone's a suspect in this classic "whodunit" murder mystery from Timeless author, Alexandra Monir.
Nicole Morgan has been labeled many things—the geeky music girl, the shy sidekick of Miss Popularity, and the girl with the scar. Now only one name haunts her through the halls of Oyster Bay Prep. The girl in the picture.
After heartthrob Chace Porter is found dead in the woods near the school, the police search for the girl snuggled up next to him in a picture discovered among his personal effects. A girl no one knew was even close to him—and whose best friend, Lana Rivera, was his girlfriend.
Nicole is that girl, and now she’s the primary suspect in his murder.
What happened that night? Were Nicole and Chace dating behind Lana’s back? Were he and Lana over? Could either of the girls have killed him?
In alternating points of view—that of suspect Nicole Morgan and that of Lana Rivera—and weaving between present-day, flashbacks, and the characters' surreal subconscious, The Girl in the Picture is a unique tale of teen friendship, romance, and deadly secrets.
My Thoughts: This story is a mystery and a story of a secret love and a story of family secrets all taking place at an exclusive school.
The story begins with the discovery of soccer star and Congressman's son Chace Porter's body in the woods. In his pocket is a strip of photos taken at the fair. The problem is that the photos are of he and Nicole Morgan, not he and his girlfriend Lana Rivera, also the daughter of a Congresswoman.
The story jumps back and forth in time from when Chace first came to the school as a junior and meets both Lana, who is a social butterfly, and Nicole, who is a music geek. Lana decides that he would be the perfect boyfriend and someone she deserves. And, despite being attracted to him herself, Nicole can't believe someone so unbelievable would every be interested in her and so she pushes him toward Lana.
Circumstances contrive to throw Chace and Nicole together and their relationship deepens but Nicole doesn't want to hurt her friend Lana. It isn't until the spring before his death that Chace and Nicole come out to Lana who doesn't take the revelation of their relationship well. Her reaction and an accident that scars Nicole's face makes Nicole shy away from Chace.
Now that his body has been found, the hunt is on to find out who murdered him. Nicole is quickly becoming the prime suspect especially since someone seems to be framing her for the crime. Is it Chace's parents who don't want his family secret exposed? Is is Lana's mother who thinks Lana might have had a part in the death? Or is it someone else?
This story had twists and turns and was filled with emotional ups and downs. It also has some appearances of Chace from beyond the grave who isn't going to move on until he is sure that his love Nicole is cleared of any suspicion. Unfortunately, he doesn't remember who killed him but he is there at crucial moments to support Nicole.
This was a fast-paced story that I read in one day. I couldn't stop reading until I found out who killed Chace. Fans of mysteries and love stories will enjoy this book.
The world can take nearly everything away from me--my face, my friends, my love--but as long as I have my music, I have something worth living and fighting for, I have a purpose.I got this one for review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.