Maddie has seen the numbers for as long as she can remember. They are always there on people's foreheads and they never change. The numbers are a date, the date the person will die, and knowing those numbers has made Maddie a social outcast that some people in her town go so far as to call a witch.
It's not all bad though; her gift allows her to bring some money into the house when she does readings for people - if only her mother didn't drink away most of the money she made. It seems such a harmless gift, one that can bring people peace about their death or the death of a loved one.
But all that is about the change.
When Maddie does a reading for Mrs. Tibbolt she is startled to discover that one of the Tibbolt children has a week to live - and it is not the child Mrs. Tibbolt is worried about. When the Tibbolt child turns up dead, Maddie is an immediate suspect, especially for the sceptical FBI agents who believe Maddie predicted the death because she is the killer.
When another person goes missing, Maddie and her friend Stubby find themselves in the cross-hairs of the FBI. Someone out there knows what Maddie can do, and they are using her gift against her, making her look like the perfect suspect. Can Maddie crack the mystery before she becomes the target, or Stubby is sent to jail for a crime he didn't commit?
When is not your typical teen thriller - it blends together the psychic phenomena with a tensely written murder mystery that will keep you guessing right to the end. Maddie is perfectly imperfect, flawed by her own doubts and worries, but still intensely loyal to her family and friends. Although not particularly gory or gruesome, there are some themes that are better suited to teens rather than younger readers.
A promising debut novel and hopefully there are many more from Victoria Laurie.
Recommended for ages 14+.
Author: Victoria Laurie