Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Enter the world of this YA thriller, where nothing is ever quite as it seems…
It’s been five years since the high profile kidnapping case which turned Cassie Waterson’s life upside down. The aftermath led her to become a household name – for months, she was splashed across TV screens, appeared in newspaper headlines, and featured in the furtive whispers of the residents of her hometown. But why? She hadn’t done anything significant. In fact, she’d done nothing at all; merely watched, motionless, as a shadowy figure lifted her baby sister off her feet, and bundled her into the back of a station wagon.
That single moment soon became Cassie Waterson’s life. Agonised by guilt, confused by the lack of punishment, scrutinised by the media circus… everyone claims to know Cassie now, but nobody does at all. The face she puts on for cameras, the voice she fakes for the talk shows… none of that is the reality behind the mask. Cassie is not the strong, confident girl who glares with certainty from the screen. Cassie doesn’t have her assuredness, or her optimism about her sister coming home. Cassie is someone else entirely, and the only person who knows is the one person she must avoid… at all costs.
Every story has two sides, and the flipside of Cassie Waterson is Alexis Aldridge. Unknown, anonymous, kept hidden from the world by her fearful parents… Alexis is a conundrum, wrapped in darkness. While her and Cassie lead opposite lives, they both long for the one thing they miss: a sense of normalcy, and the freedom to be themselves.
Infamous is an unmissable YA mystery novel which will take you on twist after turn, and which provides suspense and surprises on every page.
Her father wasn’t facing her anymore. He was searching the lawn. Something clicked. Through Cassie’s blurred vision, she saw his eyes transform as the knowledge sunk in.
“Where’s your sister?” he asked.
That was it. She felt the truth finally make its way from her heart to her head. Her face contorted as she exploded into a crying fit. She couldn’t answer.
“Cassie!” he barked. “Where is she?”
By now he had stomped over and placed a firm hand on her shoulder. He shook her, but Cassie was trembling anyway, rendering his efforts to make eye contact useless.
She tried to speak but couldn’t; her sobs were blocking the airway to her lungs. She inhaled sharply.
“A lady came,” she started, sobbing again. “She took her. She had Sophie and I tried to stop her but she was too fast and then she was gone.” She got the words out in one breath, allowing her to give in to the tears once more.
After a moment of silence, her father sprinted in the direction of that corner, where Cassie had been hallucinating her sister’s return. He paused at the side entry gate, still braced to run. His head darted in all directions, looking for the car or a clue or his little girl, safely abandoned on the side of the road. Meanwhile, Cassie’s mother froze. Hours of sun bed-induced tanning seemed to reverse in seconds. Cassie had never seen her so lifeless. Her mouth hung open, jaw slightly shuddering as though grasping for words.
“Elizabeth! The police station!”
The words drew Cassie’s gaze back to her father. From the corner of her eye, she saw him dart off again, this time disappearing, just like that station wagon before him.
Cassie knew right then that her life before that moment would be irrelevant. She had been strolling down a path of life that ended with a “Do Not Enter” sign. She had no choice but to change direction, and it would lead her somewhere far away from that golden destination that she’d originally been headed.
Without washing her mascara-stained cheeks, her mother marched into the family SUV and set off for the police station. The next morning, the journalists arrived asking for pictures of Sophie. Cassie’s father greeted them. She remembered watching from behind the staircase railing as he slouched through the archway, from the foyer to the living room. He didn’t turn on the lights. He just stared at the photographs on the hand-carved mantle while Cassie wondered why he preferred the dark. After six full minutes, he chose one. Then he replanted it facedown on the surface and walked away.
So Cassie hunted through scores of albums, while her father lay paralysed in bed and her mother sat at the dining room table, with that same lifeless expression and a never-empty glass of wine. By afternoon, the local news had called for an interview. It took place on the porch, and Elizabeth was otherwise engaged. Ray, on the other hand, made it to the front door, but one glance of the yard sent him straight back into his ‘living dead’ state. He looked to Cassie, his body awkward and eyes uncertain. She told him she could talk to the camera people, and a moment later he offered a slow nod. He’d be just inside, he said. By evening, the story had caught the attention of national news carriers, and Cassie’s picture was being shown alongside her lost sister’s on television screens across North America.
Allison Stowe is the author of the YA novel, ‘Infamous.’ Raised in a generic Toronto suburb, Allison spent her childhood posting fan fiction online in hopes of influencing The WB’s writing rooms. She wrote her first novel at age 13. It was based on her favorite TV show, and upon submission she learned of copyright law.
In 2010, she graduated with a BA (Hons) in Journalism from Ryerson University, where she was the Managing Editor of the online newspaper. During her brief journalistic career, Allison wrote for Chatelaine magazine and TV Guide Canada (essentially achieving a life dream). Shortly after graduation, she relocated to Brighton, UK, and refocused her attention on her second passion – helping young people.
While studying for her MSc in Educational Psychology at UCL, Allison wrote Infamous as a way to fulfil her instinct to keep writing. When she isn’t writing about the lives of young adults, or watching prime time teen dramas, Allison mentors university students who’ve been diagnosed with mental health issues. She lives in London, UK, with her fluffy ginger cat, Sawyer. ‘Infamous’ is her debut novel.
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