Sneaking Out (Chased #1)
Author: Chuck Vance
Genre: YA Mystery
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Dunemere Books
Could you sleep next to a murderer?
Luke Chase—yes, that Luke Chase, a modern hero ripped from the headlines—didn’t mean to get caught up in Mrs. Heckler’s murder. He just wanted to hook up with the hot new British girl at St. Benedict’s, and if that meant sneaking out to the woods after hours, then so be it. But little did he know someone would end up dead right next to their rendezvous spot, and his best friend and roommate Oscar Weymouth would go down for it. With suspects aplenty and a past that’s anything but innocent, Luke Chase reluctantly calls on his famous survival skills to find the true killer.
For fans of “A Study in Charlotte” and boarding school lit, “Sneaking Out” (book one in the “Chased” series) immerses readers in the privileged prep school world, with a mystery that exposes the dark side of life on a residential high school campus.
Luke stood up and held out a hand to help Pippa up. He didn’t let go after she rose, and he clasped it firmly as they walked together. It didn’t feel awkward—he’d already held her hand a couple of times. He felt protective. They walked along in silence.
They passed a mailbox, its hinge squeaking in the wind. The wind had picked up a plastic bag, which was scraping along the road, dancing with the fallen leaves. Every noise was amplified.
Luke pulled Pippa toward him to avoid a ditch. It was then that Luke sensed something. He glanced over his shoulder, and saw the flash of someone jump behind a tree. Luke’s muscles tensed. They were being followed.
“Don’t turn around, but someone is behind us,” warned Luke. “On foot.”
He saw Pippa’s neck stiffen. “Who is it?” she whispered.
“Not sure, but let’s speed up.”
They started walking as fast as possible without running. Luke felt as if there was a bullseye on his back. Was the person who was following them crazy enough to do something to harm them? What if he had a gun?
They were about a block away from the nearest streetlight. Luke feared that if they walked under it, they would be completely exposed to whoever was following them. It seemed safer to remain in the shadows. He abruptly pulled Pippa diagonally across the street. They picked up their pace and stayed on course.
“We’ll be able to see who it is when they pass the streetlight,” said Luke.
“Do you think he crossed, too?”
Luke pricked his ears. He could hear a distant tap, tap. Footsteps. “No, he’s on the other side.”
They walked past the streetlight and up about thirty feet before stopping short and turning around. For a split second, they saw a figure bathed in the light, but then it darted to the side. It looked like a man, in a baseball hat. But he was too fast for them. Luke grabbed Pippa’s hand tightly.”
“We need to run.”
Chuck Vance is a pseudonym for a bestselling writer of both adult mysteries and novels for young adults. Vance attended boarding school in Connecticut and graduated from Columbia University. Vance has lived in New York, Moscow, London, Paris and Los Angeles and is frequently on the move.