- Shanna Love
If you stumbled across a body in the woods, would you be horrified like Alexis, electrified like Ruby, or panicked like Nick?
In April Henry’s The Body in the Woods, high school students Alexis, Ruby, and Nick’s first official Search and Rescue (SAR) for the Portland County Sheriff’s Office did not go as planned, to say the least. They were assigned to find an autistic man in Forest Park, but found a young woman’s body instead. Realizing that she was very recently murdered, the three students reached the conclusion that one of the many park visitors they conversed with on the trail could be the killer.
Besides searching for missing people, a huge part of a SAR member’s job is to inform the public; often people may have seen or heard something useful. Due to the fact the Alexis, Ruby, and Nick could have had contact with the killer, they became witnesses to a homicide, and everyone that they met on the trail became suspects. Not confident the police have the right man in custody and spurred by Ruby’s belief it is a serial killer, the trio feel compelled to do their own investigation. Without investigative experience, the three muddle along, making plenty of mistakes, angering the police, and putting themselves in real danger, but will their hard work and tenacity pay off?
What sets this book apart from others in the genre is the SAR aspect. The Body in the Woods, by April Henry, was inspired by a real-life Search and Rescue group where teens are involved in every aspect and hold leadership positions. Not only does this group assist law enforcement by locating missing and lost individuals, but they also help search for crime scene evidence.
If you enjoyed this book, you may also enjoy Virals, by Kathy Reichs.