I received this book for free from Merit Press, Simon Pulse in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{Jex Malone: C.L. Gaber & V.C. Stanley}Jex Malone by C.L. Gaber, V.C. Stanley
Published by Merit Press, Simon Pulse on May 15, 2014
Genres: Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 306
Format: Hardcover
Source: Merit Press, Simon Pulse
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{Synopsis} –A famous case. A missing girl. If they find her, will they be heroes? Or dead?

Bored out of her mind during a summer with her police detective father in Las Vegas, Jessica (aka “Jex”) Malone starts doing what she does best–snooping. When she meets three new friends who share her passion for crime, from the geek to the fashionista, suddenly, the stifling desert days don't seem so long.

Her dad is never around, just like when her parents were married. But Jex's crew, the Drew-Ids, take the pledge of eternal secrecy and then get down to the good stuff–digging through the cold-case files in Dad's home office.

One of them, the thirteen-year-old case of Patty Matthews, is still a mystery. Finding Patty, who vanished into thin air, became such an obsession for Jex's father that it destroyed the Malones' marriage. So not only is this a big deal, it's personal.

Jex is determined to find out what really happened, and her excitement is contagious. Soon her friends are all on board and so is the missing girl's brother, the hunky Cooper Matthews.

But as they dig up more and more troubling information–more than the cops ever did–they also get the clear message that someone out there wants to prevent the truth from coming out. That somebody is also prepared to do anything, absolutely anything, to prevent it.

Jex isn't afraid; after all, she's a cop's daughter. But maybe she should be.

Laced with humor, toughness, and real CSI investigation techniques, Jex Malone could be the Nancy Drew for a new generation–but with a chilling twist. These wannabe detectives are on the brink of finding out the fate of poor missing Patty. But will they disappear without a trace, too?

{my thoughts} – Jessica {Jex} is a seventeen year-old girl that is the product of a broken family. She lives with her mom in New Jersey and her father lives in Nevada. Jex doesn’t have a real relationship with her father and has used many many excuses to not go and spend the summers with him that she is suppose to per the custody agreement that was formulated during her parents divorce. This summer however, she isn’t able to get out of it and is forced by a judge to go to her fathers and spend the summer with him.

Jex is very uncooperative with her father in throughout most of the book. She is against him, she isn’t willing to get to know him or his girlfriend and she isn’t willing to listen to any of the rules that he lays down. One of the main rules he gives her is no sleuthing in the house and of course she does it anyways, however, she has help. The first day at her dad’s she ends up meeting Cissy, Deva and Nat. The four of them start snooping through her dad’s old case files and find the one’s about a girl named Patty Mathews that had disappeared 13 years ago during a fourth of July block party.

They read over the case notes, they get to know Patty’s brother cooper, they have a run in with a pathetic excuse of a reporter, but eventually after breaking many laws they get some answers. I am not saying that I agree with the fact that they attempted to break into Cooper’s house or that they did successfully break into Cooper’s neighbors house Mr.Forester. What I am saying is that a cold case, because of the girls had the potential to be a closed case. The four girls want answers and will stop at nothing to get them. They find clues on their journey and they follow those clues the best they can in an attempt to solve the mystery revolving around the disappearance of Patty.

When the fourth of July rolls around the girls think they know what happened to the girl. They believe that the girl was murdered by Cooper’s neighbor Mr. Forester. This is what the girls tell Cooper and with some other information the five of them go on a quest to try and find the burial site of the assumed dead body of Patty Mathews.

This book is full of suspense, and mystery. It has twists and turns and is well written. It has the building of a long term friendship between the girls and eventually Cooper. It has the solving of the drama between Jex and her father. It’s an emotional roller coaster at times. I agree with it being compared to that of a Nancy Drew mystery. It was just a fantastic read and was really difficult to put down. If you want to know what happens you’ll need to read the book. I promise if you like mystery you’ll enjoy it!

{quotes i liked} –
01} “You know – oh-mi-dios- translation, Oh my God!” the wide eyed girl replies. We keep staring at each other in uncomfortable silence for a few more seconds. “That’s how we say OMG.” – Cissy

02} Its a done deal. Signed. Sealed. Delivered. I like this girl. We have a bond. We hate the Girlfriend. -Jex

03} My mom would so kill me if she knew what I was doing now. Dad would kill me, too, come to think about it. It’s like ripping a scab off a very deep and old wound that would never heal. -Jex

04} My mom blamed the Mathew’s family for their daughter’s disappearance and would say, “They probably had unsavory friends. You lie down with dogs, you get bit by fleas,” Nat says.

05} It turns out a ghost doesn’t get to keep secrets – especially not if you find her paperwork. -Jex

06} My dad is a drunk and I clean up the evidence every night. Sometimes, I reach in and cut myself on a piece of broken glass, but that’s nothing compared to how cut up I feel inside about all of it. -Patty

07} Their problems on TV are totally nothing and their little town seems so cute and everyone is weird but nice. Why isn’t real life like that? -Patty

08} Kat takes her hand and shakes it firmly. Cissy giggles and offers hers too. “It’s so cool to meet and actual television star!”
“Oh Sweetie, I am not the star,” Kat announces. “The stars are the real people who invite me into their lives to tell their stories. Real people. Real stories. That’s what it’s all about.”

Final Conclusion: 5 Star Rating.