It’s been a year since the Catalog Killer finished his reign of terror in the the seaside town of Camera Cove, leaving four people dead. Mac Bell has tried closing that chapter of his life— after all, the police’s official line is that it was a random drifter, and that’s been good enough for most people. But it’s not so easy for him considering the last victim was his best friend, Connor. However, after uncovering a mysterious note from Connor, Mac is forced to confront a past where nothing is as it seemed and everyone has something to hide.
In a bit of normalcy after an immense tragedy, the book opens with a group of high school friends meeting up after graduation to open a time capsule. In these first few pages, author Tom Ryan’s alluring and lyrical style is on full display. Evolving friendships. Forgotten pasts. The cusp of change. This first scene is packed with a quiet tension that flows through the rest of the book as this group, including Mac, cracks open the past in an attempt to move forward.
From there, the mystery slowly unravels, bucking and weaving against a town that seriously just wants to put the murders to rest. It’s such a great foil, ultimately leaving Mac as the only person who could possibly solve the crime. Of course, it helps that Ryan has carefully crafted an investigation that continuously drops tantalizing clues. And the final reveal? Completely satisfying while being beyond shocking.
Even so, it’s really the characters themselves who drive this story. Mac’s at a crossroads, figuring out his future while solving the past. Along the way he meets Quill, cousin to another victim, who’s also struggling, and their chemistry is palpable. Ryan deserves immense praise for his positive and refreshing portrayal of gay teens— their blossoming romance feels real while also alleviating some of the heavier moments. Toss in some mysterious suspects and some secondary characters with a few quirks, and Ryan has ultimately fleshed out a compelling world.
For a mystery that delivers surprises all the way to the end, it doesn’t get any better than Keep This to Yourself.
Title: Keep This to Yourself
Author: Tom Ryan
Publisher: AW Teen
Publication Date: May 21, 2019
Classification: Mystery, Young Adult
Note: I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.