Staff Recommends: The Sea of Lost Girls by Carol Goodman

Staff Recommends: The Sea of Lost Girls by Carol Goodman

Today’s staff recommendation comes from the daughter of our Adult Services Librarian, Shana Schack.

Nova Schack is a Junior at the Shelby County Public High School. She’s been a percussionist in the band since 7th grade. She is also a member of the Beta Club and the National Honor Society. It is her goal to attend the University of Louisville in the future. At home, her favorite activities are playing the piano, practicing percussion, and reading.



What’s the book about?

Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author

In the tradition of Daphne du Maurier, Shari Lapena, and Michelle Richmond comes a new thriller from the bestselling author of The Lake of Dead Languages—a twisty, harrowing story set at a prestigious prep school in which one woman’s carefully hidden past might destroy her future.

Tess has worked hard to keep her past buried, where it belongs. Now she’s the wife to a respected professor at an elite boarding school, where she also teaches. Her seventeen-year-old son, Rudy, whose dark moods and complicated behavior she’s long worried about, seems to be thriving: he has a lead role in the school play and a smart and ambitious girlfriend. Tess tries not to think about the mistakes she made eighteen years ago, and mostly, she succeeds.

And then one more morning she gets a text at 2:50 AM: it’s Rudy, asking for help. When Tess picks him up she finds him drenched and shivering, with a dark stain on his sweatshirt. Four hours later, Tess gets a phone call from the Haywood school headmistress: Lila Zeller, Rudy’s girlfriend, has been found dead on the beach, not far from where Tess found Rudy just hours before.

As the investigation into Lila’s death escalates, Tess finds her family attacked on all sides. What first seemed like a tragic accidental death is turning into something far more sinister, and not only is Tess’s son a suspect but her husband is a person of interest too. But Lila’s death isn’t the first blemish on Haywood’s record, and the more Tess learns about Haywood’s fabled history, the more she realizes that not all skeletons will stay safely locked in the closet.

Why Nova recommends it

“The Sea of Lost Girls” is a perfectly executed mystery from the point of view of the main character Tess. She is a teacher at a boarding school and is married to her respected husband Harmon. Her 17 year old son, Rudy, had a history of having mood swings and dark behavior. But, soon it seems that he has adjusted and is thriving in his new environment. 

Tess receives a text early one morning from Rudy asking for help. When Rudy gets picked up he is drenched and disheveled, wearing a stained sweatshirt. Later that day, Tess gets a phone call from Haywood Academy announcing that Lila Zeller, Rudy’s girlfriend, had been found dead.

As the investigation on Lila’s death deepens, it seems that her past is more involved than she ever anticipated. Not only is her son Rudy a prime subject, it turns out her husband is as well. During a time when past secrets are being pushed out into the open, it is found out that this isn’t the only time Haywood has been involved in a student’s death.

This book is full of complex characters and intense situations as well as unpredictable and unforeseen plot twists. It kept me intrigued until the very end. I recommend reading this highly engaging thriller if you like mysteries that keep you guessing until the very end!

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