Karen M. McManus never fails to serve us a wonderfully written young adult thriller on a silver platter and this newest release is no exception. In her latest thriller, Nothing More to Tell, we are transported to Saint Ambrose private school, where four years ago beloved teacher Mr. Larkin was found by three students bludgeoned to death in the woods behind the school, leaving many unanswered questions surrounding his death.
McManus utilizes dual perspectives perfectly in the novel; there are two very likable lead characters to follow, Brynn and Tripp. The first perspective character we meet is Brynn, who dreams of being a journalist, and moves away soon after the death of Mr. Larkin. Though she has returned four years later to snag an internship at a popular true crime podcast, Motive, and convince the show to investigate the death of her beloved teacher to finally get some answers. Brynn is a quick-witted and sweet girl, who you spend a lot of the time rooting for, even when she takes things just a little too far.
The second perspective is brought to us by Tripp, who was one of the three students that found Mr. Larkin dead. Tripp is an interesting character at the onset, because the audience is made aware that he knows way more than he is willing to let on… at least he thinks he knows more. Tripp struggles with what he thinks he knows about the day he found his teacher. McManus does a masterful job creating such a realistic character. Every choice he made and how he struggled internally and externally made Tripp extremely relatable to readers.
It’s worthy of note that the LGBTQIA representation we do get in this book is lovely. As a lesbian, it is so nice to see lesbians, or any member of the LGBTQIA for that matter, just exist as characters in books. Gay representation is so much more than just big coming out stories or stories centered around sexuality. I love that Brynn’s sister, Ellie, is an out lesbian and we also have an out gay man realized in Brynn’s friend Mason. They aren’t main characters and their sexualities have no impact on the plot, and I love that because it is nice to see our community just existing in stories.
I will not spoil any of the big reveals for you, but I will say this novel is absolutely packed with twists and turns. I read many thrillers and I would like to think of myself as someone who is very good at guessing the plot twists before they happen, but McManus absolutely outdid herself on this one because the killer reveal left me absolutely shook. There were just enough red herrings without becoming dull or overplayed, and each twist is fully fleshed out in an extremely satisfying way. McManus is known for her One of Us Is Lying duology, but I can confidently say this newest release is her best work. If you are a fan of young adult thrillers or are looking to dip your toes into the genre, I would recommend running to your local bookstore when Nothing More to Tell hits the shelves on August 30th 2022.