Goldie Easton can’t wait to spend her summer as a counselor at Camp Alpine Lake in Vermont. Every year since she was eight, Goldie and her two best friends Ava Cantor and Imogen spend two months together at elite summer destination. While Ava and Imogen are part of the elite clientele of Stu and Mellie, owners of Camp Alpine Lake, Goldie gets to attend/work there because her parents are camp employees. Goldie is a townie, living in Roxwood, Vermont, the town a few miles away.
It’s been a tough year for Goldie without her friends. Goldie had legal trouble and won’t be going to college in the fall. She just wants to forget and enjoy her summer, until her ex-boyfriend Heller McConnell winds up dead in the camp’s lake.
Goldie would be an easy suspect if everyone knew the truth of what Heller did to her on New Year’s. Determined to know the truth, Goldie starts investigating solo, not even trusting her best friends. In fact, everyone is a suspect. All she knows is something dark is happening at camp and the culprit is somewhere in her vicinity.
We were ready for another Jessica Goodman mystery, since we read They’ll Never Catch Us and They Wish They Were Us. The themes of Goodman’s books are murder, privileged characters and terrible ex-boyfriends. That was true for The Counselors as well.
First of all, we loved the summer camp setting. Christy used to go to summer camp, just nothing nearly as fancy. The dark summer read was exactly what we were in the mood to read. When everyone is stuck in a rural space at the time of a murder, it ups the stakes.
While we liked Goldie’s social commentary on the super rich Ava vs the struggling Roxwood residents, we wish she had a little more character development. We wanted to her show more character development and personal interest, besides Camp Alpine Lake. The same goes for Ava and Imogen. We would have learned more about their personalities, even if we did appreciate the theme of strong female friendships.
As for the plot, we had some predictions early on about what happened. While the details were more complicated than we expected, we did sort of guess the outcome. We will say that it got darker and more violent than we expected, so be prepared for the ending.
As for how Goodman wrapped things up, we really liked it. Everything got resolved and we’re introduced to a new generation of Camp Alpine Lake, hopefully one less problematic and elitist. Overall, we had a good time reading The Counselors and actually enjoyed reading it on the beach. While not a typical beach read, it’s perfect for summer mystery lovers. Have you read this book yet? Let us know in the comments.