In this new pulse-pounding thriller from the author of The Black Queen, two brothers must come together to solve the murder of the most popular girl in school after one of them is caught fleeing the scene of her death.
Amir Trudeau only goes to his half brother Marcel’s birthday party because of Chloe Danvers. Chloe is rich, and hot, and fits right into the perfect life Marcel inherited when their father left Amir’s mother to start a new family with Marcel’s mom. But Chloe is hot enough for Amir to forget that for one night.
Does she want to hook up? Or is she trying to meddle in the estranged brothers’ messy family drama? Amir can’t tell. He doesn’t know what Chloe wants from him when, in the final hours of Mardi Gras, she asks him to take her home and stay—her parents are away and she doesn’t want to be alone.
Amir never finds out, because when he wakes up, Chloe is dead—stabbed while he was passed out on the couch. And in no time, Amir becomes the only suspect. A Black teenager caught fleeing the scene of a rich white girl’s murder? All of New Orleans agrees: the case is open-and-shut.
Amir is innocent. He has a lawyer, but unless someone can figure out who really killed Chloe, things don’t look good for him. His number one ally? Marcel. Their relationship is messy, but Marcel knows that Amir isn’t a murderer—and maybe proving his innocence will repair the rift between them.
To find Chloe’s killer, Amir and Marcel need to dig into her secrets. And what they find is darker than either could have guessed. Parents will go to any lengths to protect their children, and in a city as old as New Orleans, the right family connections can bury even the ugliest truths.
January 30, 2024
12 and up
Grade 7 & Up
Jumata Emill is a journalist who has covered crime and local politics in Mississippi and parts of Louisiana. He earned his BA in mass communications from Southern University and A&M College. He’s a Pitch Wars alum and a member of the Crime Writers of Color. When he’s not writing about murderous teens, he’s watching and obsessively tweeting about every franchise of the Real Housewives. Jumata lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is the author of The Black Queen
and Wander in the Dark
★ "Emill employs smart sleuthing, messy teen dynamics, and hidden agendas, as well as liberal use of Black cultural references and a vividly portrayed New Orleans, to present a propulsive and engaging thriller
." —Publishers Weekly
, starred review
★ "The plot accelerates at top speed to its exhausting, nail-biting, and unexpected
climax, and there is enough falling action to allow readers to catch a breath....With his second novel, Emill is proving himself a fresh and talented writer." —Booklist
, starred review
★ "[An] enthralling, gripping murder mystery
....Emill powerfully displays an unfair justice system, harmful stereotypes, political power, and inherent racism in private institutions. The author alternatively shows the strength and resiliency of family, friends, and community as they fight for justice." —Shelf Awareness
, starred review
"An edgy, fast-paced thriller
exploring important issues." —Kirkus Reviews
"Truthful and twisted at the same time, Wander in the Dark is both a thrill and a delight