No Such Person

No Such Person
Age Range
Release Date
July 14, 2015
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Murder. One of the Allerdon sisters has been charged with a pre-meditated killing and taken to jail. It doesn't seem possible--but it's happening. What was supposed to be a typical summer is anything but for this seemingly ordinary family. Shortly after they arrive at their cozy family cottage on the river, Lander meets and is smitten witha handsome young man, and they begin to date. Miranda has a bad feeling about her sister's new boyfriend. And when the family must deal with an unimaginable nightmare, Miranda can't help feeling that the boyfriend has something to do with it. The police say they have solid evidence against Lander. Miranda wants to believe in her sister when she swears she is innocent. But as Miranda digs deeper into the past few weeks of Lander's life, she wonders why everything keeps pointing to Lander's guilt.

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More from master suspense writer Cooney
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Writing Style
Teen Miranda has long suffered by comparison to her older sister Lander, who has big plans to attend medical school. While their family is spending the summer at their lake house, the two girls see a water skiing accident. Miranda is sure that the driver of the boat tried to kill the skier, (who miraculously survives) but Lander is immediately entranced by Jacob. The two spend a whirlwind week together that ends with Jacob teaching Lander to shoot a handgun. This act apparently results in the death of the same man involved in the water skiing accident, and the police come and arrest Lander, since her fingerprints are the only ones on the gun. Despite the fact that her parents are now involved in trying to get legal representation for Lander because she has been charged with murder, Miranda is certain that Lander is innocent. She posts on Facebook for leads to the real identity of Jacob, a move that the police think is much too risky, since Jacob, as well as Derry, the man who was killed, are involved in drug running. Sure enough, threats come at Miranda from an unexpected source, and she must use all of her intelligence to survive so that she can get her sister free.
Good Points
Told in alternating view points (Miranda and Lander), No Such Person offers a raw and horrifying look at what happens to Lander during her arrest and imprisonment, as well as the terrifying chain of events that befall Miranda while her sister is under suspicion. Even though the two were never close, Miranda knows that her sister's fate is closely tied to the family's fortune, so she willingly endangers herself even though she felt from the beginning that her sister's obsession with Jacob was unhealthy.

The supporting characters are multifacted as well. The wealthy and involved parents, to whose house everyone in the neighborhood loves to come, are discovered to be not as financially sound as Miranda had imagined, and they crumble in the face of difficulties. The villains are surprisingly close to the family, and their motivation, while perfectly logical, comes as a bit of a surprise.

The eerily detached tone is juxtaposed with the bright, uncomplicated light of the summer days on the lake. Jacob himself appears to be bright and uncomplicated to Lander, but immediately hits Miranda as sinister. The stark realism of the prison in which Lander finds herself is compared with the breezy beach house in which Miranda spends her days. This emotional see sawing makes No Such Person an an even more unsettling unsettling mystery, and one which is appropriate even for middle school readers who like this author's Face on the Milk Carton and who enjoy murder mysteries.
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