Review of The Hand on the Wall

February 19, 2020 Book Reviews 3

Review of The Hand on the WallThe Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson
Genres: YA, Mystery
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 21, 2020
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Library

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Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie’s greatest triumph . . .
She knows who Truly Devious is. She’s solved it. The greatest case of the century.
At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it’s hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow—somehow—all these things connect. The three deaths in the present. The deaths in the past. The missing Alice Ellingham and the missing David Eastman. Somewhere in this place of riddles and puzzles there must be answers.
Then another accident occurs as a massive storm heads toward Vermont. This is too much for the parents and administrators. Ellingham Academy is evacuated. Obviously, it’s time for Stevie to do something stupid. It’s time to stay on the mountain and face the storm—and a murderer.
In the tantalizing finale to the Truly Devious trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson expertly tangles her dual narrative threads and ignites an explosive end for all who’ve walked through Ellingham Academy.
New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson delivers the witty and pulse-pounding conclusion to the Truly Devious series as Stevie Bell solves the mystery that has haunted Ellingham Academy for over 75 years.

Also by this author: Truly Devious, The Vanishing Stair

Here is what I thought

I am so happy to say that this book redeemed my disappointment in the second book! I really enjoyed this one and I think it’s because it took a different turn as it turned into an isolated mystery and wasn’t just a rehashing of the other books.

This one picks up pretty close to where things left off in the second book. Stevie is pretty sure she knows who Truly Devious was and she has solved the crime of the century! How does the present day murders that has happened tie into the old crime of the 1930’s? That is what Stevie has to try and figure out especially now that there has been some interesting turn of events.

Another accident happens though nobody was harmed and an upcoming blizzard is forcing the school to close down. David shows back up to talk Stevie and her friends into staying behind so they can help him bring down his Senator father who is corrupt. This forces a select group of adults to have to stay behind as well. Now a blizzard has happened and they are all isolated and some other things happen. Is there a killer among them? What really happened to Alice all those years ago and what does finding her now mean?

These are among the questions that finally get answered and I thought it wa all done pretty well. We still get a back and forth between present day and what happened at Ellingham in the past. We actually get a lot more of the past Ellingham in this book than I think in any of the others because we are finally getting to see all the little hints and pieces from the first books come together to get the whole picture of what happened back then.

So even though it still seems to repeat itself a lot because Stevie is trying to hash out what happened not so much with the past as she is pretty sure she has that one solved but with the present day murders. What did Hayes, Ellie and Dr. Fenton all have in common? It was still a lot better I think that book two so I am glad for that. I thought the author did a great job with the mysteries of both the past and the present and it was pretty hard to solve but I had figured out whodunit before the end, I just wasn’t sure of motives till Stevie pointed them out. 🙂

This was my first series read by this author but it sure won’t be the last as I would like to check out some of her other books as well as keeping my eye on future books! If you like YA mysteries I would recommend this trilogy!

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