Manipulation and trickery are the foundations of The Competition, a mystery thriller that depicts a manic killing spree designed and executed by an uncanny number of suspects who always seem to be out of reach. Dead ends, close calls, and public scrutiny make this case one of the hardest and emotionally draining cases for Rachel Knight.
When Rachel, Bailey, and Graden are all caught up in a school shooting with more casualties then any film, they know they’re out on a limb with their fragile list of suspects. They need to bring in a few psychology experts to find this unemotional psychopath who killed without hesitation. Unfortunately, with vulnerable eyewitnesses from the high school crime scene and parents who are convinced that their children are all innocent bystanders, Rachel and Bailey have a hard time identifying possible suspects before it is too late…again.
This is a competition for the mass murder/murderers: they are trying to outdo all the shootings they have witnessed before, but for Rachel and Bailey these copycats are going beyond what the psychologists would have ever guessed. Rachel and Bailey are left going in circles, and even after they have interviewed all the teenagers they could, every day someone comes up with a different story that they were either afraid to admit to before or just completely forget in the chaos.
Unlike the other Rachel Knight novels, this mystery story gave me goosebumps as I kept witnessing the unpredictable yet hopeless choices Rachel and Bailey made, before they found an inkling of a sense as to who the suspect might be just to have them wind up dead from the get go.
The monstrous disaster in this story relinquishes fear, distraught, hollowness, and an undying echo of deathly screams that can’t be silenced. Through these struggles and moments that leave us gasping for some kind of refreshing breath, we also witness self-sacrifices, healing powers of family, and bravery that save some of the kids from complete oblivion. This story is scary, and the thrill of it left me dealing with nightmares, but I could not have imagined a more twisted yet compelling mass murder mystery. Marcia Clark did it again, and if anything, The Competition is my favorite Rachel Knight novel so far!
Pub: July 8, 2014