Jack: Secret Histories by F. Paul Wilson.
TOR/Tom Doherty Associates, LLC: NY, 2008

Weezy, Jack, and Eddie find an artifact in an undiscovered, undisturbed mound in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, the swampy woods bordering their small town. Jack's the only one of them that can open the black box, even once they've seen how it is done. Analysis shows that the structure is high tech, but tests date it as a pre-Columbian object. Weezy is caught up in the thought of a secret history of the world and conspiracies. Jack is more concerned with the secrets of citizens of the town: his dad's unwillingness to talk about his past, his friend Steve's new problem with alcohol, the members of the local Lodge dating back at least to the beginning of the country, and sudden deaths of townspeople.

The book is an exciting and unique mystery. I like that the mystery is as much about the artifact, the Lodge, and the Barrens as it is about the murders. It has a hint of fantasy to be explained elsewhere. Jack and Weezy are both interesting characters. Considering the titles of Wilson's other books, neither character is fully explained yet. I was fascinated to learn that the book is linked to a full adult series that I am now anticipating.

related-mystery and detective stories, coming of age, interpersonal relations, Pine Barrens, New Jersey, supernatural, friendship, spying

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