The Plot

Nicholas Hyde is the sole heir of the Hyde fortune that funds a private university. Each year, six selected students gather to take an all day exam consisting of essay writing and one-on-one interviewing with Nicholas Hyde and Vice President Gaines. This is Nicholas’ first year hosting the scholarship award competition after his father died last year.

All six of the students desperately need the scholarship that comes with tuition reimbursement and stipends for one reason or another: family life, unfortunate circumstances, or immigration status. Just as the students begin the essay writing portion of the test, one of them drops dead.

In this And Then There Were None-esque thriller, will they all drop dead one by one? Who is killing them?

Why can’t they just leave? Well, because the house is locked up tight, phones confiscated until the scholarship winner has been chosen. It’s only tradition…

The Verdict

I have never read David Bell’s thrillers before but I have always been fascinated by their beautiful covers. This one is no different. The cover intrigued me and the synopsis reeled me in.

The journey in this thriller is a captivating one. As Vice President Gaines tries to calm everyone, they must find a way out or find who is killing them. Desperate college students must find a way to survive the day.

This thriller is masterfully crafted to keep you racing through its pages. However, I found the payoff at the end to diminish the journey. The novel really built and built and built the tension only to leave me with a predictable and quick conclusion.

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)
About the Author

Sarah Moon is a stone-cold sorceress from Tennessee whose interests include serial killers, horror fiction, and the newest dystopian blockbuster. Sarah holds an M.A. in English Literature and an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing. She works as an English professor as well as a cemeterian. Sarah is most likely to cover horror in print including prose, poetry, and graphic forms.

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