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Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite
Gated II: Ravenhill Academy by Matt Drabble is another excellent novel by this exceptional author. It is not necessary to have read Gated prior to reading Gated II, but I strongly recommend that you do. Not only will it help familiarize you with the main character, but you will have had the pleasure of reading another superb novel. Following the tragic events that occurred in Gated, Sarah Jane Mears spent the next decade or so trying to find a new place to call home. By the start of Gated II, she has been teaching for six years at the lauded Ravenhill Academy, a prestigious private school situated in an isolated part of the United Kingdom. The isolation, exclusivity, and small number of students and staff were ideal for her to escape her past, if not her nightmares. Her biggest “problem” was deflecting the advances of the only male teacher on the campus, while her only real friend urged her to open up to him. But like a bad penny, trouble finds her once again.
Gated II: Ravenhill Academy is as good a suspense thriller as any written by the Big Name authors. Indeed, it could serve as the Indie Publishing Poster Child. Drabble’s character development is outstanding. His scenes are perfectly set up, and ideally described so the reader can become fully immersed in the story. The story itself is well worth becoming immersed in, too. Murder, deceit, betrayal, and evil are juxtaposed against romance, idyllic small town life, and a setting as comfortable as an old pair of slippers. Even the ghosts come in good and bad versions. Gated II is a must-read for fans of great suspense thrillers. However, so is Gated the original, and you will be glad you read them both, preferably in order.