[Note: BOYS & GIRLS: PART II is under production, and this preview may contain lines and content that do not reach the final book. In addition, this book assumes that you have read PART I all the way through. You can read more about Part I here.]
THE STORY SO FAR…
On the coast of Mendocino County there is a small town called Kinsky. At the high school there, a group of eleven friends have bonded in their formative years to create a seemingly perfect union of camaraderie and empathetic connection. This bond becomes troubled, however, when the newest member of the group – Maria Cortez – one day discovers her younger sister dead, a gruesome suicide by hanging. With the reason for the suicide seemingly in doubt, Maria teams up with her best friend – and arguably the keystone of the entire group – Cole Mulaney, in order to discover what, or who, could have driven the child to giving up her life.
In parallel, two of Cole’s childhood friends – Lukas Schrodden and Katherine Wilkins – begin to have their own difficulties. Once inseparable, the two had begun to drift apart when the young woman started dating the star quarterback of the school. Lukas, conflicted between his deep friendship with the girl and the romantic love he kept sheltered in his heart, instead confided his feelings in Cole. Cole tried his best to broker an arrangement with the two, especially after Katherine had broken up with her football captain boyfriend. Things got worse before they got better, but ultimately the two reciprocated their repressed feelings, and came together as one couple.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the death of Anita Cortez revealed that the young girl had experienced a wealth of sexual abuse in the months before her passing, something known not even to Maria herself. With the horrific new detail unveiled, the two friends began looking into who might be the perpetrator. While there were a few key suspects, all suspicions were eventually dropped, and the two were left right where they started.
Just as the case was about to be given up, a few chance events led Maria to question the only person she had never suspected – her investigation partner, Cole himself. In a cold and dreary day on the cusp of the new year, Cole admitted his fault, insisting his relationship with Anita was a romantic attachment and begging Maria to forgive him. When she refused, Cole hid a mysterious chest filled with notes in the middle of the Kinsky forest, only to drive to a nearby bridge to jump off and end his life.
With Cole now dead, and the ugly truth yet to be revealed, will the group of friends be able to unite under their shared pain? Or will the difficulty of the situation prove too great, permanently shattering them apart?