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Book brief: 'We Know It Was You' by Maggie Thrash

YOUNG ADULT
We Know It Was You by Maggie Thrash; Simon Pulse, 344 pages, $17.99. Ages 14 and up.25485029 This hugely entertaining thrill ride, set at a private Atlanta high school, is an irresistible blend of mystery, humor, high school angst and romance, and is the first in Maggie Thrash’s Strange Truth series.
Benny Flax and Virginia Leeds are the only two members of the Mystery Club at the Winship Academy; both are outsiders – Bennie a nerd and band geek and the only Jewish student at the school, Virginia, one of the school’s few boarders, has difficulty reading other’s reactions and has alienated her classmates with a gossip blog. The mystery begins when beautiful cheerleader Brittany Montague, dressed as the Winship Wildcat mascot, takes off running during the high school football game and throws herself off the bridge into the Chattahoochee River. But not all is as it seems, and Bennie and Virginia find a camera recording the bridge leap and footage of cheerleaders undressing in the locker room – and then uncover all manner of surprising dark secrets – as the investigation takes them in unexpected and sometimes dangerous directions.
Thrash’s hilarious narrative hums along; “Being a water boy may have lacked prestige, but it more than made up for it in proximity to cheerleaders.” Among the colorful cast of characters are cheerful, handsome, insomniac German exchange student Gottfried, perennially upbeat Corny, exotic Zaire and football player Winn, who has a disturbing erotic relationship with his Civil War rifle. The odd pairing of Benny and Virginia, who are almost total mysteries to each other, is fascinating and Thrash leaves plenty of dangling questions for the next installment.
– Jean Westmoore
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