Chris Brennan starts a new job as a teacher and a coach in a small town high school. His credentials are excellent and his demeanor perfect. The problem is that it is all a lie. He never taught or coached before and spent a great deal of time studying for his new role. He is actually there to infiltrate the baseball team and find the right young man to fill his needs.
Scottoline does an excellent job of making the reader hate Chris as he manipulates the boys (and their mothers) to achieve his goal. She also does a great job making us care about individual boys whose vulnerabilities make them easy prey for a man who knows exactly what he is doing. The chapters alternate between the stories of several different families and Chris himself, and I hated seeing each chapter end.
I am an avid reader, and it is difficult for even the best of authors to surprise me. As an English teacher, I easily pick up on foreshadowing and figure out where the author is taking me long before I arrive. Years ago I read a book that took me by such surprise that I literally threw it against a wall, and no book has affected me that way since. I must say that Scottoline came close in this book that makes the reader second guess throughout.
I don't want to say too much, but I will say this is a fast paced, well written book that definitely belongs on your summer reading list.
Publisher - Martin's Press
Date of Publication - April 11, 2017