The Body in the Woods by April Henry

Posted June 11, 2014 by Sara | Novel Novice 0 Comments


April Henry’s gift for writing edge-of-your-seat thrillers is at its finest in her new book, the first in a series, The Body in the Woods.

body in the woodsIn this new series told from multiple perspectives, teen members of a search and rescue team discover a dead body in the woods.

Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear, and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.

This first book in April Henry’s Point Last Seen YA mystery series is full of riveting suspense, putting readers in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations.

I love the multiple POVs Henry offers in The Body in the Woods, and felt as if each narrator offered a different entry point for readers to relate to the story. She’s laid a nice groundwork for her series, offering a careful balance of internal drama for the characters — as well as external, in the form of the crime they are trying to solve. I can easily see these characters carrying over into subsequent books.

As always, Henry has done her homework (sometimes I suspect that’s her favorite part of writing thrillers) — and the technical aspect of this crime thriller is really spot on. Henry has nailed all the details of police work, criminology, and search and rescue. The result is that her book both entertains and educates. It’s even cooler that the book is inspired by real teens who help  law enforcement here in the Portland, OR-area — where the book is set.

The Body in the Woods is a quick read, and one that’s hard to put down at that. The crime mystery grips you from the start — but the delicate entanglements of each teens’ life is, in some ways, even more compelling. I’m excited to see where this series goes next.

The Body in the Woods is in stores June 17th.

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Sara | Novel Novice
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