Keep This To Yourself
Keep This To Yourself
“First of all,” says Quill. “What did I tell you about that kind of shit? You don’t say pussy or fruit, or faggot. If you say anything, you say gay, and you say it without a snarl in your shit-eating mouth. You say it like you say toaster, or dog, or Mom, like it’s a normal, boring, everyday thing. You hear me?”
My face burns and I realize that this guy has somehow managed to out me to a gang of juvenile delinquents. I’d prefer to just take the pussy insult and move on.
“Jesus Christ,” says Melvin. “Yes, I hear you. I’m sorry, Quill. I won’t say it again.”
The older kid gives Melvin a shove away. “Second of all,” he says, as Melvin reaches up to rub at the back of his neck, “you know damn well that people from around here use the library. Used to use it, anyway. So keep your stupid ignorant trap shut, you got me?”
Police never caught the serial killer that terrorized Camera Cove last summer.
Mac Bell, 18, and what used to be his inseparable circle of friends have just graduated high school and are gathered to commemorate a lost friend. It has been one year since the death of Connor, the fifth friend and glue that had held them all together. Without him, the group has splintered.
The town is still healing. Police had found evidence of a drifter's involvement, but the culprit was never identified. Everyone in town seems to be trying to put that horrible summer behind them, but Mac feels stuck – stuck until he finds a hidden note that Connor left and becomes convinced that Connor knew the killer’s identity. Mac begins to investigate the residents of Camera Cove with new eyes.
Mac is struggling with survivor's guilt and the break-up of his close friendships. He is isolated, lonely, and unable to move on. He's also awkward, easily embarrassed, and thoroughly engaging. Not only is he struggling with solving his best friend’s murder, he is also coming to terms with the fact that he had feelings for Connor as well. Readers will bond with Mac as they share his journey of personal growth.
Quill, a cousin of one of the victims, becomes a partner in Mac’s investigation and soon a love interest too. Although less fully realized, Quill brings an important perspective to the investigation and his confidence sparks Mac’s self-esteem.
Ryan has spun a clever and engrossing whodunit using classic misdirection, red herrings, and multiple suspects to obscure the fact that the clues needed to solve the case are in front of readers’ eyes. The windswept coastal setting, complete with eerie caves and the claustrophobia of the small town, enhance the tense, paranoid mood. Grief in its many shades is reflected in nearly all of the characters and echoed in the mournful cry of the seagulls.
Keep This To Yourself is a well-plotted mystery with an atmospheric setting and relatable characters, a solid choice for teen mystery fans.
Tom Ryan is the author of several books for young readers. He is a two-time Junior Library Guild recipient, two of his novels have been chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, and he is a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Literature. Tom and his husband currently split their time between Toronto and Nova Scotia.
Chris Laurie is an Outreach Librarian at Winnipeg Public Library