Period 8 by Chris Crutcher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The suspense part of the book gets a little overshadowed by the over-writing, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. There's a very (very!) slow build, so you have to stick with it before getting to the payoff.
Period 8 is more a concept - the really cool teacher hosts what seems like an encounter group in his classroom during lunch. "Logs" is one of those beloved guys, the teacher everyone confides in. He also is training with Paulie, having aspired to swimming the channel in his youth; Paulie, know as "Bomb", is an avid swimmer, and seems to be a generally good guy with the exception of his one night with Mary. Hannah, Paulie's girlfriend, is obviously upset by the news and they break up. Then Mary disappears, and the suspense starts.
The what and who of all this is only revealed during the last third of the book, and the very end of the book leads me to suspect "sequel". Until then, however, this seems like a rather normal town, with averagely messed up teens. The relationship with Logs did bother me some, because in this post-Penn State era, would any school have tolerated students visiting a teacher at night? privately training with a student? That just feels a little wrong.
ARC provided by publisher.