Lo is guided to each object she takes, compelled to arrange them just-so, trying desperately to be unnoticed at school like she is at home, since her brother disappeared. She ignores those who call her Penelope, like Mom ignores the outside world now.
She taps significant patterns to keep her safe as she roams neighborhoods to stay out of the too-quiet house. A bang, shattering glass, a bullet in the brick wall nearby – Lo checks the news online later to discover that a young woman was killed at that moment, in that place, jewelry stolen.
At the flea market, a butterfly figurine calls to her to be taken (but-ter-fly, 3 perfect syllables). Lo recognizes it from the news article, stolen from the dead girl Sapphire, she just knows it. Seller says it was in a dumpster, but who’d stick around a murder scene to steal costume jewelry and knick-knacks, then dump them? Something is off-balance here, and Lo can’t stand for anything to be unbalanced, so she starts to investigate.
Visiting the gentlemen’s club where Sapphire worked, talking to homeless people, Lo can’t stop looking for things that will unmask the killer. Meeting Flynt the artist is an unexpected bonus, a joy, but can he be trusted not to tell what Lo is doing in this bad part of Cleveland on her own?
When the phone rings at home, telling her to mind her own business, Lo is a little worried. When acid-scorched photos appear on her school locker, telling her to back off, she gets anxious. When she sees Flynt’s tattoo and remembers a clue in Sapphire’s house, she gets frantic.
Will the killer come to her home?
Will Flynt deny the connection that Lo has discovered?
Will she be able to keep her counting compulsions under control long enough to convince the police to do something?
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA – blogging young adult books beyond the bestsellers at http://BooksYALove.blogspot.com