The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman
This is a dark book. It begins on what seems to be an ordinary day, when five people in a small Kansas town inexplicably commit murder -- and then kill themselves.
Only one suicide is unsuccessful. The five murders seem to have no connection to each other. There are no apparent motives. And the surviving murderer doesn't remember a thing. Something dark is stirring in this town.
No one can explain what happened on "the killing day" but it haunts the entire populace, in particular, the five teenagers most closely involved with those who died. As the town sinks deeper into whatever sickness has taken hold, another tragedy strikes. The government steps in, sealing off the town from the outside world. But are they there to help or the cause of the mass hysteria infecting nearly everyone?
Told through alternating perspectives from the five teenagers, THE WAKING DARK demonstrates Wasserman's sharp talent for storytelling. This cover could easily have had the name Stephen King on the cover -- Wasserman channels him so perfectly here, in both her character development and horrific, edge-of-your-seat suspense. The intensity doesn't ease, page after page, and I flew through the story so quickly, I found myself wishing I'd taken more time. Then again, it means I'll enjoy a second read even more.