Contemporary YA Thriller
In sunny southern California, seventeen-year-old Ruby Rose is known for her killer looks, her killer SAT scores, and even her killer taste in shoes—but only her victims will know how killer she really is. Not that child rapists and murderers who beat the system every time deserve to be called “victims.”
Daughter to Orange County District Attorney Jane Rose and fallen SWAT Sergeant Jack Rose, Ruby not only knows the law, she believes in it. That is, until someone starts manipulating her into breaking it. Thinking a cryptic text message is from her high school crush, Liam Slater, asking her to Homecoming, Ruby heads down to the harbor. Instead of the lame trail of roses she’s expecting, she hears a child’s desperate call for help. Someone has lured her here, and is forcing her to choose between letting an innocent girl die or committing “legally justified” murder to prevent it.
Torn between satisfaction that one less monster is roaming the streets and guilt for the blood on her hands, Ruby tries to find the real murderer behind it all. But in her search, the body count keeps rising, turning her into something she never dreamed possible: A teenaged serial killer. Ruby must find out who is using her and stop him before she finds herself walking death row, wearing one of those horribly baggy orange jumpsuits even Hollywood royalty can’t pull off. The closer she gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a long-held family secret that threatens to destroy everything and everyone she’s ever held dear.
First 150 words:
Life shouldn’t involve so much calculation—and I’m not just talking algebra. I’m talking about the calculated, premeditated avoidance of life. I didn’t need a 4.0 GPA to know that sneaking out of the city library at 9:00 on a Friday night didn’t win me any points on the SPA (Social Point Average), on which I was definitely flunking.
Pausing under the dark awning, I took a quick breath of briny ocean air to regain my bearings. The old parking lot fluorescents flickered behind the suffocating fog, making it hard to tell if the rain was misting down from above or if it was coming in sideways from the shore. In any case, the blacktop lay slick, full of potholes, and speckled with math club kids who’d just love to report a sighting of Recluse Ruby Rose.
With a practiced stealth, I dashed through the night. Even in my new Prada Peep-Toe Pumps—a.k.a. my Penelopes—I had speed.