Sunday, December 5, 2010

BLOOD ON MY HANDS by Todd Strasser

Having just finished reading Todd Strasser's IF I GROW UP to my 8th graders, I was excited to read another one of his books.  BLOOD ON MY HANDS is the second book in what is described as a "thrill"-ogy that began with WISH YOU WERE DEAD. 

Callie seems to have been caught red-handed, knife in hand bent over the body of Katherine Remington-Day.  Someone in the crowd that gathered snapped a picture of Callie holding the murder weapon, and now she finds herself on the run from the police.

After what Katherine did to her, Callie isn't particularly upset that her former friend is dead, but she certainly is not going to be framed for the murder.  What she needs to do now is find somewhere safe to hide so she can figure out a plan.  Before too many people are aware of her instant fame, Callie makes a quick stop at a store to buy hair dye and a few other supplies to create a disguise.  Her tiny build doesn't allow her to blend into crowds of average-sized individuals so she opts for a Goth girl look in hopes of looking totally different than most people would expect.

Callie has an idea of who may have committed the crime, but she needs help.  Counting on her parents for help is worthless.  Her mother is needed at home to care for her disabled father, and her brother is in prison found guilty of the attack that crippled their father.  She must be careful which friends she goes to for help since practically everyone she knows is part of the clique lead by the late Katherine.  Her only hope lies with Slade.  But how willing will he be to help since she dumped him and broke his heart?

BLOOD ON MY HANDS chronicles the days following the murder as Callie tries to prove her innocence.  She describes her struggle to search for evidence as she hides from the police.  During the time she spends hiding, she recalls the events leading up to her current situation.  The suspense created by the twists and turns in friendships and circumstances surrounding Katherine's death and Callie's presumed guilt make for an action-packed thriller that pushes right through to the last page.

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