Five teenagers are the sole survivors of a killing rampage that took the lives of a small community. Just prior to the five year anniversary, all five receive identical cryptic warning notes that they’re soon to join their dead parents. The survivors, known as The Fallen Oaks Five, have never been particularly close and have only kept in touch sporadically but they decide to meet up and make the trip back to where it all happened. Ellie and her younger sister Cassie are the central figures with Ellie being the unspoken leader of the group by virtue of her confident demeanor. But that’s how she copes. By controlling as many things as possible, she is able to tolerate the things over which she has little or no control. As they begin to ask questions to help them understand what precipitated the heinous attacks on their small community, the five work to uncover the sordid secrets. Can they find out in time?
“The Lucky Ones” is a Kirsten Modglin thriller that starts strong but ends in a fizzle. I chose this title based on the strength of other books I’ve enjoyed by this author. Theoretically a smart choice but reality proved otherwise. Except for the protagonist Ellie, the other characters are merely cutouts with no real depth. While I can appreciate the twists and turns of the plot I found it contrived and clumsy overall. One glaring inconsistency in detail is the logistics of how the five met up for their return to Fallen Oaks in only a couple of hours when one of them lived clear across the country. I’m still scratching my head over that one. In a nutshell, the plot premise is strong but the execution is weak. Three stars.