Friday, June 3, 2011

Sanctuary (1-800-Where-R-You #4)

Title: Sanctuary (1-800-Where-R-You #4)
Author: Meg Cabot
Rating: 5/5
Knew she wasn't going to be able to hide her psychic powers from the U.S. government forever. But she never thought that she and Dr. Krantz, the special agent brought in to convince Jess to join his elite team of "specially gifted" crime solvers, would have something in common.
When a local boy's disappearance is attributed to a backwoods militia group, it turns out that Jess and Dr. Krantz have the same goal. Suddenly Jess finds herself collaborating with one enemy in order to stop a far worse one. In an atmosphere of hate and fear, Jess and Dr. Krantz must work together to unite a community and save a life...without loosing their own.
My Thoughts: Jess Mastriani, 'Lightning Girl' and heroine of three previous novels (When Lightning Strikes, Code Name Cassandra and Safe House) is back - and this time she's facing a truly evil foe. After thwarting a murderer at her own Ernie Pyle High School, Jess knows she's not going to be able to keep the Feds off her back for much longer. Even though they can't have any tangible proof, it's a given that the FBI agents who seem to haunt her every step know that Jess has been lying about losing her freaky psychic powers. Still, it's hard to lay low when danger waltzes into your own neighborhood.

Nate Thompson and his sister are the only African-American students at Ernie Pyle, but Nate doesn't seem to have any problem fitting in. There has certainly been nothing to suggest that Nate has made enemies. Nate, who happens to be Jess's neighbor, goes missing on Thanksgiving evening, but since he's just a little late coming home with some whipped cream, Jess figures she doesn't have to do 'the woo-woo thing' to find him. Then Nate turns up dead in a cornfield with a strange symbol carved into his chest and Jess feels both horrified and horribly guilty. Could she have saved Nate if she had tried to use her psychic powers as soon as she knew he was late getting home?

When the local synagogue is burned and a twelve-year-old Jewish boy turns up missing, it becomes starkly obvious that something very ugly is happening in Jess's hometown. If the crimes are connected, and how could they not be, then Jess has got to find Seth Blumenthal before the hatred and violence escalate even further.

The 1-800-Where-R-You series (of which this is the fourth book), is classic Meg Cabot. The heroine is sharp and feisty and the supporting cast is memorable. It is possible to read any of these books as a stand alone but you'll enjoy them so much more if you read them in order.

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