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Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite
Accepting a teaching job at the Falcon Ridge Academy atop the Catskill Mountains was not one of Cassie Romano’s better decisions. Wanting to put her wrecked love life behind her, she consigned herself to a secluded mountain peak that tended to become unnavigable, if not downright inhabitable, during winter. Mentored by the department chair, Kimi Choy, Cassie still hoped to adapt to her new environment. However, the devastating news of Kimi’s death thwarted all her plans. Was it merely an accident or a premeditated murder? Why did the hastily appointed replacement teacher, Dan Moralis, seem unsuitable for the job? Can Cassie find out what is going on behind the scenes? Find out in Head Case, a psychological thriller by Bonnie Traymore.
Traymore masterfully created a sinister, atmospheric setting that perfectly suited the plot. The backdrop of the harsh winter on a snow-covered mountain heightened the sense of isolation and boredom Cassie experienced. Throw in the possibility of an unidentified killer roaming the school halls in the midst of a snowstorm, and you have a bone-chilling thriller. I liked how Traymore unraveled the story one bit at a time, including a few nerve-wracking sleuthing escapades from Cassie, making the reader anticipate the next turn. Traymore’s unique storytelling style uses multiple POVs, including the killer’s, yet readers don't learn the truth until it is too late. Even when you believe you have figured out the motives, the next chapter, even the next sentence, could easily throw you off track. I recommend Head Case to anyone who loves crime thrillers and sleuth stories.