The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci
Christopher Creed was the kid at school that everyone knew, that everyone disliked, that everyone made fun of. But that didn’t stop him from always tagging along, irritating people, and just being weird. In fact, he was so annoying that he was beaten up all the time. In fact, everyone had an “I beat up Chris Creed” story or two to tell. That’s just the way it was. Until Chris disappeared. When he vanished without a trace there were lots of rumors: he ran away from home, or he killed himself, or he was getting revenge, or someone killed him. What does turn out to be true is that he sent the principal an e-mail before he disappeared, stating that he knew no one liked him, and that he would make it easy for everyone and simply remove himself from their lives. It almost sounded like, a suicide note, but there was no body.
Torey Adams is one of the boys who picked on Christopher story, but readers quickly learn that he had nothing to do with the disappearance. He doesn’t believe that Chris was murdered, so decides to do a little investigating on his own. He’s joined in his search by Ali, Torey’s childhood friend who is also Chris’s neighbor, and Ali’s boyfriend, Bo, a “boon” (shorthand for boondocks) with a juvenile record. Some clues the teens discover are that Chris’s mother completely controlled her son’s life, that Chris created a fantasy world in his diary, and that Chris actually envied Torey. The more Torey finds out about Chris, the more convinced he becomes that Chris didn’t kill himself, and that he will uncover the facts.
I really liked this book and think it’s a great choice for most high school readers, especially those looking for an engaging mystery. There are lots of plot twists and turns, guaranteed to keep readers on the edge of their seats.