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The Sixes: A Novel Hardcover – Aug 2 2011

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (Aug. 2 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006157662X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061576621
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,053,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“This is the perfect book to take on a transatlantic flight to Europe. Trust me I just did it. . . . A fast-paced plot that wraps itself up in time for you to race to the bathroom before the plane starts its descent.” (Vanity Fair)

“A coed’s gone missing at leafy Lyle College, and visiting prof Phoebe Hall is asking too many questions. A nifty spine-tingler.” (People)

The Sixes has all the ingredients for a fantastic summer read: an elite private school, a secret society, and a band of terrifying mean girls. In Kate White’s skillful hands, it’s a story that simultaneously scares and entertains.” (Alafair Burke, author of Long Gone)

The Sixes is a terrifying, psychological thriller that takes ‘mean girls’ to a whole new level of creepy. It’s Kate White’s best!” (Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Live Wire)

“You won’t be able to put it down; just remember to reapply your sunscreen every so often.” (Harper's Bazaar, Labor Day Weekend 'Must Reads')

“Kate White’s newest standalone is scarily good—a riveting, psychologically complex tale of mean girls, with a dark twist. You won’t be able to put it down. I loved this book!” (Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author of Save Me)

“Cleverly woven with comic dialogue and sexy dates, the narrative mixes the spookiness of Twin Peaks with the scandal of Gossip Girl, plus a dash of Ian McEwan-esque drama. . . . A page-turner.” (Nylon Magazine)

“Kate White writes smart.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“A superior mix of romantic suspense and pure mystery while avoiding clichés. . . . An academic mystery, a women’s novel and an insular village mystery with the private school standing in for a small town.” (South Florida Sun Sentinel)

“This thriller hooks you from the get-go-besides the adrenaline rush, this story reminded me how every experience, good or bad, forms us and makes us stronger.” (First for Women)

“It was so much fun to read about the secret-girl society in The Sixes. Their evil pranks gave me chills! A fun Pretty Little Liars for grown-ups . . . I can’t wait to read more from Kate. She got the evil girl thing just right.” (Sara Shepard, author of the bestselling Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game)

“Cosmo editor-in-chief White’s prose--like a brisk walk through a tree-lined campus in autumn--is perfectly suited to the setting and tone of this stand-alone mystery thriller about mean girl games run amok. . . . A worthy end-of-summer beach read.” (Publishers Weekly)

From the Back Cover

From the New York Times bestselling authorof Hush and the Bailey Weggins mysteryseries comes a thriller set in a college townwhere a student’s death sends one womanon a search for the truth and into theclutches of a frightening secret society.

Phoebe Hall’s Manhattan life has suddenly begun to unravel. Right after her long-term boyfriend breaks off their relationship, she’s falsely accused of plagiarizing her latest bestselling celebrity biography. Looking for a quiet place to put her life back together, Phoebe jumps at the offer to teach in a sleepy Pennsylvania town at a small private college run by her former boarding school roommate and close friend, Glenda Johns.

But behind the campus’s quiet cafés and leafy maple trees lie evil happenings. The body of a female student washes up on the banks of a nearby river, and disturbing revelations begin to surface: accusations from coeds about abuses wrought by a secret society of girls on campus known as The Sixes.. To help Glenda, Phoebe embarks on a search for clues—a quest that soon raises painful memories of her own boarding school days years ago.

As the investigation heats up, Phoebe unexpectedly finds herself falling for the school’s handsome psychology professor, Duncan Shaw. But when nasty pranks turn into deadly threats, Phoebe realizes she’s in the middle of a real-life nightmare, not knowing whom she can trust and if she will even survive.

Plunging deeper into danger with every step, Phoebe knows she’s close to unmasking a killer. But with truth comes a terrifying revelation: your darkest secrets can still be uncovered . . . and starting over may be a crime punishable by death.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Harper
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher

Phoebe Hall is attempting to adjust to a new life. Her once successful career as a bestselling author is in jeopardy when she is accused and found guilty of plagiarism. Her personal life is not much better, her long-time boyfriend abruptly leaves before the accusations, and Phoebe doesn't know who to turn to. When her agent suggests that she change her plans and keep a low profile until the media storm calms down, Phoebe is elated when her friend Glenda offers her a teaching job at a small-town university in Pennsylvania. Phoebe retreats to Lyle College, and never expects to become involved in a media frenzy once again. A young girl, in Phoebe's class mysteriously disappears and is found drowned in the river that boarders the college. One year previously, the girl's boyfriend disappears and no one has heard from him since. Lyle College has a strict policy that no fraternities or sororities be allowed. When the administration hears about a Secret Society they set out to quickly shut it down. When it becomes clear that the Sixes may have a connection to the drowned girl, Phoebe uses her research skills to assist Glenda, the president of the college. Things take a turn for the worst when Phoebe begins to uncover their secrets, her home begins to be targeted by the Sixes and Phoebe is not sure what they will do next. It is clear that Phoebe has been warned to keep her distance. Just when Phoebe thinks she has a lead, she is quickly thrown off course.

The Sixes is a page-turner, it's engaging, entertaining, and well-worth the read. I was skeptical of everyone, and questioned all the secondary characters. I trusted no one, except Phoebe. I really enjoyed Kate White's previous novel Hush, and would recommend this one as well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa7750ef4) out of 5 stars 127 reviews
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa74a3f48) out of 5 stars By the numbers Aug. 2 2011
By S. A. W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Here are six reasons why I found The Sixes less than satisfying (minor spoilers):

1. The Implausible Set Up. I'm happy to suspend disbelief, but this book stretches even my credulity. I highly doubt any respectable college would hire someone accused on plagiarism. And even in fiction, reasonably intelligent people call the police when their home is repeatedly broken into and their safety threatened.

2. The Shallow Characterisation. None of the characters ring true; they're all one-dimensional. The author meticulously describes what everyone is wearing, but never digs beneath the facade. Phoebe is bland and far too trusting for someone who supposedly used to dig up dirt for a living. Best friend Glenda is a driven career woman, so focused on her job she fails to notice that her marriage is disintegrating. Love interest Duncan is stereotypically handsome and brooding with a mysterious past.

3. The Dull Villains. The girls in the Sixes are more mild than mean. They don't pose a credible threat and, in the end, aren't even involved in the murder.

4. The Total Lack of Suspense. This thriller is lacking in genuine thrills. For example, the Sixes break into Pheobe's house leaving apples and later teaspoons. Sorry, but I just don't find fruit and flatware frightening.

5. The Bad Sex Scenes They weren't necessary to the plot. They also weren't romantic, sensual or erotic.

6. The Bland Storyline. The mystery failed to engage me and the solution was rather trite and predictable. Ultimately this book was like a made-for-cable movie: nothing special, but not bad enough to make you change the channel.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa74a8918) out of 5 stars More Miss Marple than Mean Girls July 22 2011
By OutlawPoet - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
When Phoebe, needing a break from an accusation of plagiarism, takes a job at a rural college, the peace of the small school is rocked by the death of a student and all signs point to murder. Phoebe is asked by a friend of hers to investigate the girl's death and discovers the presence of a secret society on campus - a society known only as The Sixes.


SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!


This really is a very traditional amateur sleuth novel, mixed with a little Lifetime Movie intrigue. I think that this will appeal a bit more to fans of that genre than to those who like their suspense a little more hard hitting. Those of you who aren't fans of the amateur sleuth genre will find yourselves wondering things like:

"Who on earth would ask a blogger to investigate a murder?"
"Why would any college hire someone accused of plagiarism to teach this class?"
"Why does this college teacher in her thirties act like a giddy sixteen-year-old?"
"Why does no one ever call the police?"
"Why is this secret society so dull?"

I was intrigued and excited by the thought of the "mean girls'. The only problem was - they aren't so mean. LOL - no matter how hard you try, I don't know how any author can make someone leaving six spoons in your dishwasher threatening and chilling. In addition, they don't actually show up until the 2nd third of the book. By then, I wasn't convinced they even existed. And, unfortunately, when they do show up, they're a bit of a bore.

There are a few surprises here and there and it's not a bad read. It just wasn't really as advertised.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa74a83e4) out of 5 stars Keeps you guessing until the end June 30 2011
By a - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
"The Sixes" is the kind of atmospheric whodunit that really keeps you guessing till the end. I thought I was so clever, having figured it out only halfway through. Imagine my surprise when my theory was systematically dismantled in the closing chapters, and totally new twists changed everything. That said, the novel is not perfect.

In a plot similar in many ways to the 1990s film "The Skulls," a recently disgraced celebrity biographer turned college professor is called on to investigate a dark and potentially dangerous secret society of girls on campus and their possible connection to a series of recent drownings. Kate White has created a fairly generic heroine who manages to be both likeable and grating at the same time. As usual, she misses clues or makes brilliant deductions based on the immediate needs of the plot. At least she gets a reasonable backstory and some emotional development throughout the course of the novel. The girls of this secret society, however, are barely characters. They are all beautiful, pouty, arrogant brats with no personality and no real distinction; they exist simply to be nasty foils to our heroine's investigation. Plus, the hero's semi-seriour love interest is so shrouded in mystery that it's almost comical.

Overall, this was a fun, sometimes creepy, murder mystery that kept me guessing. Yet I had a hard time with the characterizations and had very little empathy for any of the players, both good and evil and somewhere in between. And while I liked the twists and my inability to guess the secret(s), I was a little put off by the rushed and cloying conclusion.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa74a8d44) out of 5 stars Secret society of mean girls causing trouble -- but capable of murder? July 3 2011
By Denise Crawford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is a formulaic mystery involving a possible serial killer, a secret society of mean girls bent on causing damage, and several other sinister activities at Lyle College, located in a small town in Pennsylvania.

Phoebe Hall -- a 42-year-old disgraced reporter who left New York in the wake of a plagiarism accusation, is asked to fill in for a teacher on maternity leave at the behest of the college president, her former roommate and friend from boarding school, Glenda Johns. Phoebe is also healing from a recent romantic breakup and retreats to this small college to recover and wait until her reputation is repaired. Shortly after the fall term starts, a female student whom Phoebe talked with briefly on a walk in the rain across the quad, is found drowned. Was the dead girl a victim of a tragic accident or was she murdered? If so, who might be the killer? Because of rumors around campus of a secret and powerful women's sorority, and because of Phoebe's past experience of having been a target of such a group while in boarding school, Glenda asks her to look into this group -- known as The Sixes -- and to see what her investigative skills can uncover.

The rest of the narrative is fraught with predictable scenes and red herrings as Phoebe puts herself fully into the search for answers about the dead girl, the secret society, and other cases of missing persons that occurred over the previous two years. Are all of these deaths related? As she noses into details surrounding the events, she is targeted and harassed with home invasion and other warnings to back off the investigation. The death count rises the closer she gets to the truth. Although I thought I had figured out the entire 'whodunit' by the fourth chapter, I ended up being wrong. That's not to say that the conclusion is realistic or believable; just not what I had anticipated, and somewhat unsatisfactory. I did like that the main character, Phoebe Hall, was middle-aged.

This is an entertaining and mindless read -- perfect for passing time while on a plane, at the beach, or by a pool. It reminded me, at first, of another Gothic suspense novel that I read recently, The Raising: A Novel (P.S.), which I'd recommend if you like this type of suspenseful, secret girl society type of book.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa74a8f0c) out of 5 stars The Sixes by Kate White (thoughts) Aug. 30 2011
By Samantha.1020 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Sixes tells the story of Phoebe Hall as she attempts to adjust to her new life as a small town college professor and the mystery that she finds herself wrapped up in. Because young college coeds are dying and the only hint that the authorities at the college have is of a "secret society" that has been rumored to have been the cause of lots of trouble in the past. Little is known of this secret society and Phoebe sets out to find proof that it exists while trying to keep her past behind her.

The Sixes is one of those books that you don't want to put down. The author creates a chilling atmosphere in a small town college campus where everything (and everyone) isn't what it seems. This creepy atmosphere was one of my favorite things about the story. There is a constant hint of danger throughout the book that kept me turning pages. The setting is in the fall/early winter and the descriptions of the weather tied into the story so nicely. It just all added up to maintain the sinister feeling that the author was creating. I loved the idea of a secret society that isn't really up to any good, and I felt that the author really did a good job of building on the hint of mystery that went along with "The Sixes". I kept wondering what they were going to do next and how they were involved with the deaths that had occurred. This novel was definitely a page turner and I just didn't want to put it down. The ending itself was a surprise that I didn't see coming. I was a bit disappointed though as I felt like the author did such a great job on the creepiness factor with The Sixes and then the ending was a bit of a letdown. Just not what I expected but I don't want to give away any spoilers so I'll leave it at that. All in all, a really solid read with atmosphere in spades. I've heard that this author has written other books and I'm anxious to check them out.

Bottom Line: A solid thriller that kept me on my toes throughout!

Disclosure: This was kindly sent to me for review by the publisher. Thanks so much!!