You Will Pay by Lisa Jackson

It starts as a prank – a way to blow off steam after a long summer at Camp Horseshoe. Monica O’Neal has it coming, and no one will really get hurt…

Twenty years later, detective Lucas Dalton is investigating the discovery of human remains at the old campsite. Lucas worked there during the infamous summer when two girls went missing.

That’s why he’s called five former counsellors back to town – including Bernadette Warden, the woman Lucas has never forgotten. Each one knows something about that terrible night. And as they reunite, a new horror unfolds. First comes a simple, terrifying message:

My review:

The novel revolves around one summer at Camp Horseshoe twenty years ago. The location of a Christian summer camp, set deep in the Oregon woods sets the scene immediately. The cast of characters, is mostly the teens who stayed there the fateful summer two teenagers went missing, never to be seen again…..

The chapters flip between then and now. There are a wealth of characters, which may at times be confusing but also generates various perspectives.
It certainly keeps the reader on their toes.

In the present day, Lucas Dalton is now a senior detective with the sheriff’s department. When he is informed human remains have been located at the camp. But Lucas isn’t just any local cop investigating. Lucas knows the camp very well, as his father was the preacher who owned it.

‘The sins of the past about to reveal themselves and Lucas Dalton was there, front and center’

Lucas’s father Jeremiah Dalton is the sort of man who believes wholeheartedly in Christian standards. As long as, they apply to other people. However, running a camp full of hormonal teenagers, it isn’t long until Jeremiah has some sinners in the woods.

The infamous summer two girls went missing, one assumed drowned and washed out to sea. The other feared murdered by an escaped convict on the loose. Whilst Lucas should be scrambling for clues, forensics and evidence. He is actively seeking to remove evidence of his own involvement. What does Lucas know? Why is he so desperate to cover his own tracks?

The novel opens with a distressed pregnant teen Elle, feeling suicide is her only option. On the dark rainy night, she hangs over the edge of the bay in tears…. She is pushed……

‘Your baby. Your problem. Take care of it’

But Elle isn’t the only pregnant teen at Camp Horseshoe and she certainly isn’t the only one with secrets. In the present day, five of the former campers make their way back to Oregon. They aren’t returning to see justice is set in motion. They are returning to ensure their version of the truth is enforced. But not all the campers are happy with this plan.

Jo-Beth, Reva, Sosi, Bernadette and Annette return. Each has their own agenda for ensuring their stories are maintained. Their motives vary and the each show a side of the girls, they dislike. The side you never want your parents to see.
Jo-Beth is the self-imposed queen-bee. She was a domineering bully over the other girls. Only now they are grown, and they plan on finally standing up to her.
They are no longer, easily led teenage girls.

‘Jo-Beth was as close to a psychopath as she’d ever want to meet’

The plan that fateful night, was set in motion by Jo-Beth. Jealous and angry, she plotted the takedown of one of her peers. But what started as a simple ‘scare’ rapidly developed to ‘put the fear of god’ into the girl.

Camp rules are made to be broken

One of the former campers, is now a reporter and she implements herself into the investigation at every turn. But what she lacks in facts, she makes up for, in her determination to get to the truth. The secrets will be revealed.

The whole theme of ‘the sins of their youth’ coming back to haunt the girls, works incredibly well. The scheming and viciousness of the girls is second to none. There is a saying hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, only this time, it is teenage girls and they are unashamedly furious!!!!!!!!
As you read the novel, you do feel an emotional pull towards some of the girls. But others, you hope you never have the unfortunate chance to come across.

‘Teenagers run in herds and have an us-against-them mentality’

The novel reminded me of a TV series, I watched years ago called Harper’s Island. By this I mean the remote location and angst of the characters. However, there’s also a whole Friday 13th vibe. I can easily see the appeal to mature/older readers of YA. I think teenagers work incredibly well as protagonists, they are complex and emotional. Yet can be wise beyond their years. The ending is full of twists and turns, whilst some a little too far-fetched for me. I can see they’ll appeal to most readers.
Scattered with teenage angst and emotional pain 5*

Lisa Jackson

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