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Sneaking Out


Sneaking Out

In SNEAKING OUT by Chuck Vance, Luke Chase, the famous “Kidnapped Kid” from the headlines is suddenly caught up in a new murder at St. Benedict’s, his prep school. When Mrs. Heckler is murdered on campus, teenagers Luke, Pippa, Oscar and Kelsey happen to be the some of the only ones who were in the forest where the murder occurred. Rumors spread that it is the infamous “Southborough Strangler,” but the police have one main suspect: Oscar, Luke’s best friend. Luke is determined to find the truth behind this mysterious murder case, calling on his survival skills he has gained from the past. Luke and his friends at St. B’s break school rules and investigate the suspicious suspects to bring the murderer to justice and find out why anybody would want to kill Mrs. Heckler.

"The reveal was satisfying and left me yearning to read the novel over again to put all the pieces together. This is a fantastic murder mystery...."

There are many characters in the novel and suspects aplenty. It’s almost hard to create a true connection with each of the side characters, but Vance does a great job at setting them apart with unique personalities. It was interesting to see a story built around a character with a previous backstory, but I’m not sure if it played that big of a role into the story. His survival skills that he was taught as a child came into good use and it kept me intrigued to read the sequel in order to delve deeper into his past, as well as learn more about one other mysterious character referenced throughout the novel. The cover is portrayed as 1950s noir type cover and could maybe be better designed as a more modern attention-grabbing murder mystery.

The storyline and each step the characters took to get closer to finding the killer were complex and well thought out. The reader can follow along with Luke and guess who the killer is based off the clues that Vance gives you. The book provides a wide arrange of suspects and anybody could be the killer. The reveal was satisfying and left me yearning to read the novel over again to put all the pieces together. This is a fantastic murder mystery with an ending that leads to the premise of the next book. 

The boarding school where the book took place made the novel even better, because Vance uses the setting to his advantages and utilizes many aspects of a prep school in the plot. This reclusive private school murder mystery is a quick, intriguing read with simple yet interesting writing. The climax builds up to a life or death situation where it is up to only Luke to expose the killer or be killed. I will definitely pick up the next novel in the series when it comes out to follow Luke on another captivating journey. 

Reviewed by Jeremy H., Teen Board Member on March 13, 2018

Sneaking Out
by Chuck Vance