Following Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci

At the end of The Body of Christopher Creed, author Carol Plum-Ucci leaves readers wanting more. There are no answers to what happened to Christopher Creed, an unliked high school student who mysteriously went missing and left the town of Steepleton, New Jersey in a mess of accusations and bad blood. With Following Christopher Creed, readers revisit Steepleton where they get a second try at solving the mystery of what happened to Creed four years after his disappearance.

It’s a dark and stormy night when Steepleton police uncover a grave and an unidentified body in the Pine Barrens. Is this the final resting place of the missing Chris Creed? No one knows yet, but it’s the chance Mike Mavic, a legally-blind budding college reporter and avid follower of the Creed case, has been waiting for—a chance to go to Steepleton and stir up the answers to old questions. Mavic, who feels he’s a kindred spirit with Creed because of his own bullying and hellish childhood home-life, shows up in the middle of the night and begins interviewing townspeople.

What the young reporter sees is clear—the town hasn’t moved on since Creed’s disappearance. Steepleton’s dealing with eerie issues—a higher than normal cancer rate, unexplained, fatal car accidents, and a community with a mean-streak that goes beyond pettiness. Is this “bad frequency” an after effect of the town’s complicity in making Creed’s life miserable? Strange sightings out on the Lightning Field in the woods have some believing that Creed is dead and haunting high school students who hang out there. But at least one person, Justin Creed, Chris’s mentally unstable younger brother who’s just gotten out of rehab, is convinced that Creed is alive and communicating with him through strange psychic channels. Mavic soon finds himself overly invested in Justin’s well-being, feeling that Justin is just like his own younger brother whom he left behind when he ran away from home.

Though the manic pace of Justin and Mavic’s intense conversations is sometimes jolting, the irresistible chance to revisit the characters from the first book and finally solve the Christopher Creed mystery will have readers turning pages quickly!

Review by Erin, CLP-Allegheny

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