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Horrorscape - Nenia Campbell

Ms. Campbell ratchets up the creep factor in this second book in the Horrorscape series. Gavin, or GM, as he calls himself, has turned freakish whack job into an art form. I know the book is a chess game, but to this reader, it kind of felt like playing Clue with Hannibal Lector: You know who did it (or is going to do it) but you have to figure out which weapon and in what room.

Val has grown up a bit but still suffers PTSD from the mental trauma inflicted by Gavin her freshman year. With some reticence, Val agrees to go to a party with her boyfriend and a couple of friends. Soon after arriving, she realizes the host is not who he seems. GM is Gavin, although his appearance is different than when she last saw him. He has invited two sets of kids (teams)- one set wearing white and one set wearing black. Then the chess game begins.

As the game wears on, the players all realize that GM is playing for real and that their lives are in danger. Val and her friends must get out of that house and away from GM as soon as they can. GM's overconfidence in his ability to seduce Val and his misinterpretation of her wants is his ultimate downfall. The ending leaves possibilities wide open for book three.(less)