I stayed up reading till 2 a.m because I had to know what happened to Leah and what she was trying to forget. I knew it had something to do with Miss Hollis. So in a new flashback we learn what happened. Obsessed with Miss Hollis, Adam breaks into her house and persuades the others to follow him. Leah is reluctant but Imogen and Corey are game. I can’t understand how Imogen and Corey could think it was logical and even sensible for Adam to do what he did. Adam terrorised Miss Hollis, and did terrible things to her, and horrified, Leah flees out of the house. The facts are horrible, but I think Leah’s guilt is out of proportion. She didn’t do anything to Miss Hollis and even tried to talk Adam out of doing what he did. I grant she didn’t stop him, but she didn’t participate. Maybe her guilt was more to do with what he did three years later, which we learn about in the last chapter. When she is at university, Imogen calls her and reluctantly she agrees to meet her in a pub. Then she discovers that Imogen has orchestrated for her to also see Adam and Corey. If I had been Leah, I’d have walked out at once. Yet, she stays. What I don’t get is how Imogen and Corey could be so cool about what they did, or rather Adam did, and brush off the whole thing. I think Imogen and Corey are even worse than Adam because they didn’t even stop to think what was right or not. And I can’t understand why Leah stayed at the pub. And it is even more disconcerting how adult Leah still thinks of Adam. How can anybody be so attached to a boy like Adam? He was a cruel psycho, who treated Leah as his chattel or a pawn.
As I was saying I think Leah’s guilt comes from what she did. She purposefully crashed her car against a tree, which is the accident from the prologue. She wanted to die because I guess guilt ate at her, or maybe she was so angry with her friends who were so cool about what he did that she wanted to punish them. It is not clear what she was thinking at that moment. Adam and the others died, but she survived. Was there an investigation? I guess there must have been. Did she tell anybody what she did?
The other big surprise is the stalker. I had considered it was Maria, but she simply was another pawn of the real stalker. Maria learnt what Leah had done, and blackmailed her to quit the job. I guess the same happened to Sam and Julian. I have to say that these characters were very easy to persuade. After all, even if there was an article about what happened to Miss Hollis, there can’t have been anything in it about Leah being the culprit, and she was only 16. Sam, who had known Leah was a nice worker, let this stranger poison her against Leah, and the same case goes to Maria and Julian. None of these characters bother to talk to Leah and learn her truth, so it shows that they are not really worth it.
I have to say it was a surprise to see who the culprit was, and the resolution was surprising as well. I thought that Miss Hollis was dead, and I liked the conversation she and Leah had when she rescued Leah. That was a nice touch. I would have liked to know what happened after they escaped, but I think it was a nice end.