Cassie has a particular skill--from trailing around the country during her childhood with her "psychic" mother, she has learned to pick up people's "tells"--the tiny details that reveal who you are and what you want. Now her mother is gone and she's on her own, existing uneasily with her paternal grandmother and exuberant extended family but not really fitting in. Then the FBI approaches her--they are beginning a classified program that uses teens like her to try to solve notorious cold cases. Cassie definitely wants in.
She's sent to live with a group of teens whose skills are as unusual as hers--an emotion-reader, a profiler, a lie-detector, and an odds-calculator. Soon, their theoretical study of cold cases gives away to an active case that threatens them all and makes their gifts vital to their survival.
The book held my attention throughout. I liked the idea, the protagonist, the other characters. There is a little conflicted romance, but it's not insta-love, and the mystery/suspense part of the plot had an unexpected resolution. It ended up being
The third book, All In, is the same cast of characters, but it gives more insight into the back stories of some of the teens, makes connections with the past with a new "Unsub" (unknown subject) plot, and there is a change of scenery to Las Vegas, giving the author the ability to pull in some of the unusual or even bizarre characters who populate that world--hotel moguls, stage magicians, hypnotists--as suspects and players. I'm still a fan!
I don't know why I was under the impression that this was the last book in the series, or that it would be a trilogy. Certainly it doesn't say that anywhere on the cover or in the description, but I thought this was it. So when I got close to the end of the book and a whole new mystery opened up, I was confused, but it turns out that #4, which supposedly IS the last book, comes out in November! That's great--one more Naturals book to enjoy.
Editor's note: Teens, you may have a hard time getting your hands on this series at the Central Library--I recommended it to one of our circulation clerks, and she liked it so much that she, in turn, recommended it to everyone she knows! Try for a copy at Buena Vista! We do, also, have the first book as both an audio book and as an e-book, if those are options. And if all else fails, Barnes has another series that starts with The Fixer that you might like equally as well! The second book, The Long Game, comes out in June, which means we'll have it sometime in July.