Fake ID by Lamar Giles
Being the new kid (again) in high school is hard enough, but for Nick Pearson, he also has to get used to a new name and a whole new identity that comes with his latest ‘fake ID.’ Every time Nick (nope, not his real name) and his parents move, they have to become different people – because they’re part of the Witness Security Program, more commonly known as Witness Protection. This time, the family’s latest move to Stepton, Virginia, is the last chance for Nick’s father who can’t seem to break his criminal ties.
The most important “maxim” that the family’s federal minders require is for Nick to “[s]tay low-key.” But that proves impossible to do when Nick discovers the bloodied corpse of Eli, his one sort-of new friend: the police conveniently rule suicide, yet Nick is convinced he’s witnessed a murder. The dead can’t talk, but Eli’s computer – full of the notes of a Columbia-bound journalist-in-training – has plenty of ‘whispered’ secrets to reveal. With the help of the Eli’s sister, Nick won’t be able to ‘stay low-key’ in this town for long.
Fast, slick, shocking, Lamar Giles’ thriller was deservedly nominated for a 2015 Edgar Award in the Young Adult category. If you decide to go aural, narrator William Harper has just the right creepy timing to raise your arm hairs. Besides the body count, Giles intensifies his narrative with (much) more than the usual teenage complications with parents as Nick struggles with questions of trust, unreliable adults, and … while running for his life, finds unexpected young love. Nothing like murder to bring out the truth …
Readers: Young Adult