Phoenix Du Rose, K T Bowes
Book 13 in the Hana Du Rose Mysteries series and boy oh boy do I wish I'd read at least one of the earlier novels as I really struggled to work out what and who and how and why coming in at this point. Young Adult series that moves around the extended Du Rose family as far as I could tell, Phoenix is a strong, fair minded, well-meaning young woman fleeing family conflict, by attending a summer camp full of promise.
A very capable horsewoman she quickly becomes a mix of camp attendee and camp helper, particularly when it comes to some of the younger, less-horsey kids, but when she finds something hidden in a barn near the camp, everything starts to go wrong. Fleeing from one sort of danger, could very well have put her in the path of yet more problems.
I understand that Hana (of the series title) is Phoenix's mother (earlier books in the series have Phoenix as a babe in arms by the looks of the blurbs), and there's something in this outing about her father, and some past conflict but I must have missed what or how that all worked - it seems like a rather complicated family from this viewpoint. Ignoring all of that however was possible, and there's a reasonably good mystery at the heart of this novel to compensate, and despite times when I was wishing for a bit more pace, the resourceful, and caring nature of Phoenix is well executed.
Overall it felt like a realistic example of a young girl who is capable, and kind, and just a little bit doubtful and conflicted. It's undoubtedly a good portrayal for readers of Young Adult fiction to work with, but it's a series that I'd be recommending really strongly that you start somewhere a bit sooner than book 13.
Phoenix Du Rose has inherited her mother’s restorative nature, but that’s exactly what will get her into trouble. Some problems are too big for a well-meaning teenager to fix and some people just don’t want her kind of help.
The brochure for the summer camp promised sunshine, beach rides and friendship. The reality is different. Phoenix finds something hidden in a barn near the camp, something that shouldn’t be there.
Running from a family conflict, Phoenix arrives at the camp full of hope and innocence. But nothing is the way it seems and by the end of the seven days, someone will be dead.
One week is all it takes to change a life forever.