It has been something of a relief for Nearly "Leigh" Boswell to leave the events of the previous spring behind, but someone out there is not willing to leave the past in the past. Leigh is looking forward to the future and in internship at the local crime lab seems like an excellent opportunity to learn something new and to stand out from the crowd when it comes to college applications. Life has been moving on in other ways too, especially her relationship with Reece, but this year he is going to another school and will not be conveniently in reach.
When one of the girls who lives in the trailer park goes missing it hits a little close to home for Leigh, especially with the appearance of mysterious messages that point to the twisted game that TJ played in the spring. When the girls body is found and brought into the crime lab where Leigh is working she has to hide the link or risk being taken off the case. When the evidence points to someone she knows Leigh has to make some terrible decisions, decisions that could have an impact on not only her internship but also her future. Someone is stalking Leigh and the people in her life, someone who has a plan for them that involves confusion, murder, and framing the "innocent". Leigh may be smart, and her ability to taste peoples emotions can help her tell the truth from the lies, but only if she can get close enough to feel and taste it - in every sense of the words.
Nearly gone was one of the stand out books last year, an intriguing take on the murder mystery/psychological thriller because of Leigh's ability to taste emotions. For some people this ability would potentially put them off, and they would be missing out on a powerful and addictive read, and the same is true of Nearly found. It feels like Cosimano has dialed back the emotion tasting for this sequel, with the psychological elements being the strong voice, but that may just be an impression based on this being the second story and Leigh's ability not being so unusual anymore. Having read the first book in the series was definitely an advantage here because there are references to the events in Nearly gone that are teasing rather than detailed so you miss some of the subtleties if you don't have the background. There is no sense that this is the last book in the series, so hopefully there will be another book in the series next year.
This is a series that deserves to be discovered, and with Leigh branching out into new territory through her work in the crime lab there is greater scope for the development of her character and her world. There are some emotional roller coaster rides here, and it was gratifying to see realistic strains on the relationship between Leigh and Reece, and the relationship between Leigh and her mother feels as if it is developing into an adult-adult relationship rather than a parent-child relationship. This is a fascinating series that blends supernatural elements into the storyline in a way that previous series by other authors haven't quite managed - this is a serious rather than fluffy sci-fi angle and it really benefits from that treatment.
If you like this book then try:
- I hunt killers by Barry Lyga
- The book of blood and shadow by Robin Wasserman
- Acceleration by Graham McNamee
- Death cloud by Andrew Lane
- Crime seen by Jenny Pausacker
- The Christopher killer by Alane Ferguson
- Guy Langman, crime scene procrastinator by Josh Berk
- Dead to you by Lisa McMann
- The limit by Kristin Landon
Reviewed by Brilla