Do Not Become Alarmed
Parents in novels for tweens and teens are typically out of the picture by the time the kid's adventure begins, which is the tradition Meloy drew on in her Apothecary series for young adults. Now she returns to grown-up fiction with a novel that follows three sets of spoiled, wealthy parents and their children as they embark on a cruise to Central America. When the kids go missing during an onshore zip-line expedition, paths diverge; the children become unwilling accomplices in a murder cover-up while their parents split time between a seedy hotel and an embassy, waiting for news and arguing among themselves. Is Meloy's novel a satire about privilege or a straight-up thriller? Judge for yourself. But one thing is certain: After reading this heart-racing tale of a not-so-excellent adventure, a staycation might be in order.