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Lockdown, by Laurie R. King.

July 19, 2017

LockdownLockdown, by Laurie R. King. Random House Publishing Group, 2017.
5 stars

A suspenseful thriller set in a middle school struggling to move beyond its many problems.

Laurie King is prolific and deservedly popular writer of books full of mysteries and impending danger and thoughtful psychological exploration of individuals caught up in them.  Her early books featured a woman detective in San Francisco.  Then she began a quirky series about Mary Russell, a scholarly young woman who becomes acquainted with Sherlock Holmes, marries him and joins him in his detection. In addition she has written several stand-alone thrillers, some of them set in dangerous situations that reflect very contemporary problems.

Lockdown is set in and around Guadalupe, a troubled middle school in a small town near the California coast.  Linda, the new principal, is trying to create a sustainable community for her students and their families, but the murder of one child and the disappearance of another haunt the school.  The students and other adults involved with them each have their own problems, but with the approach of the school’s Career Day, their paths become interwoven.  All become threatened.

Suspense is palatable throughout the book, but story is never grim or depressing.  Instead we get to see how a variety of individuals react under increasing pressure.  King manages to braid together each of their narratives without diluting any of them. And we are left with some major questions unanswered.  We have a pinpoint view of how  innocence and evil overlap and how children get pulled into violence.  I loved the ending.

I strongly recommend this book, even for those who do not usually read mysteries or suspense.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2017 10:15 pm

    “even for those who do not usually read mysteries or suspense”… that was a trigger for me to check this author’s name at Goodreads, where I find that I read and really liked The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.
    I’ll look out for this one, thanks for an enticing review.

  2. Christine permalink
    September 25, 2017 2:31 am

    Thank you for this review. I love the work of Laurie King – her series on Russell and Sherlock to the mysteries and detective novels set in San Francisco. Look forward to this read.

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