Nominated for the 2016 Agatha Award for Best Children's/YA mystery!
When six teenagers play Tag in Chicago, it's no longer your childhood game.
This time, if you get Tagged, you get Dead.
Six teenagers play a dangerous Game of Tag in public, chasing through the crowds, streets, and buildings of Chicago. This secret, one-of-a-kind, wildly expensive Game offers a macabre twist to the childhood version…if you get Tagged, you get Dead.
Three “Its” have their reasons for buying a place in the Game. Surgically enhanced Brandy is obsessed with destroying a naturally beautiful girl. Untalented Robert covets his target’s position as superstar of the basketball team. Brainiac Charles craves a battle against an intellectual equal. Given their elite social status, they reject any possible downside to the contest. Each expects the satisfaction of killing their prey, then walking away.
Hand-picked innocents play as “Runners,” under threat to their loved ones should they refuse to participate: lovely, small-town Laura; celebrated athlete Tyrese; and Amanda, gamer extraordinaire. Alone, hunted by their adversary, each feels a single hope…to survive.
Technological wizardry controls the Game. As soon as Runners receive the “Go” signal on smartwatches locked to their wrists, the Game rockets them through the city, from the El to Michigan Avenue to the Lincoln Park Zoo. There is no time to rest. Every thirty minutes the Runner’s location is transmitted to the It, which steadily diminishes the Runner’s chance of ever reaching Home Base alive.
The Game will not end until someone is Tagged, so the Runners must choose how to play. Will they accept death? Murder their Its? Or find a way to use individual strengths to stop the Game before anyone dies?
"This novel is a well-constructed hybrid of the classic 1930s film The Most Dangerous Game (in which people hunt humans for sport), Stephen King's The Running Man (featuring a murderous game), and, of course, The Hunger Games, but Lane includes enough original material to make the tale feel fresh." Booklist
"Lane...takes readers on a fun ride." Kirkus
"...readers will enjoy seeing how each Runner draws on his or her best qualities to try to survive the game." Publishers Weekly