One of Us Is Next - Karen M. McManus


One of Us Is Lying

Two Can Keep a Secret

One of Us Is Next

For Mom and Dad

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Text © 2020 by Karen M. McManus, LLC

Cover photograph (second girl) © 2020 by Nabi Tang/Stocksy; all other photographs used under license from Shutterstock

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.

Delacorte Press is a registered trademark and the colophon is a trademark of Penguin Random House LLC.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: McManus, Karen M., author.

Title: One of us is next / Karen M. McManus.

Description: First edition. | New York : Delacorte Press, [2020] | Summary: “A year after the Bayview four were cleared of Simon Kelleher’s death, a new mystery has cropped up—a game with dangerous consequences that’s targeting students at Bayview again. And if the creator isn’t found soon, dangerous could prove deadly”— Provided by publisher.

Identifiers: LCCN 2019004154 | 978-0-525-70796-7 (hc) | 978-0-525-70797-4 (glb) | 978-0-525-70798-1 (ebook) | 978-0-593-17547-7 (intl. tr. pbk.)

Subjects: | CYAC: Mystery and detective stories. | Gossip—Fiction. | High schools—Fiction. | Schools—Fiction.

Classification: LCC PZ7.1.M4637 Or 2020 | DDC [Fic]—dc23

Ebook  9780525707981

Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.





Books by Karen M. Mcmanus

Title Page


Part One

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter 11

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Part Two

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Chapter Twenty-nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-one

Chapter Thirty-two

Chapter Thirty-three

Chapter Thirty-four


About the Author

Friday, March 6

REPORTER (standing at the edge of a winding street with a large white stucco building behind her): Good morning. This is Liz Rosen with Channel Seven News, reporting live from Bayview High, where students are reeling from the loss of one of their classmates yesterday. It’s the second tragic teenage death in the past eighteen months for this small town, and the mood outside the school is one of shocked déjà vu.

(Cut to two girls, one wiping tears, the other stone-faced.)

CRYING GIRL: It’s just…it’s just really sad. Like, sometimes it feels as though Bayview is cursed, you know? First Simon, and now this.

STOIC GIRL: This isn’t anything like what happened with Simon.

REPORTER (angling her microphone toward the crying girl): Were you and the deceased student close?

CRYING GIRL: Not like, close close. Or at all close. I mean, I’m just a freshman.

REPORTER (turning toward the other girl): And how about you?

STOIC GIRL: I don’t think we’re supposed to be talking to you.

Ten Weeks Earlier

Reddit, Vengeance Is Mine subforum

Thread started by Bayview2020


Is this the same group Simon Kelleher used to post with?—Bayview2020


One and the same.—Darkestmind

Why’d you move? And why are there hardly any posts?—Bayview2020

Too many gawkers and reporters on the old site.

And we have new security measures. Lesson learned from our friend Simon.

Who I’m guessing you know, based on your user name?—Darkestmind

Everyone knows Simon. Well. Knew him.

It’s not like we were friends, though.—Bayview2020

Okay. So what brings you here?—Darkestmind

I don’t know. Just stumbled across it.—Bayview2020

Bullshit. This is a forum dedicated to revenge, and it’s not easy to find.

You’re here for a reason.

What is it? Or should I say who?—Darkestmind


Somebody did something horrible.

It wrecked my life and so many others.

Meanwhile NOTHING happened to them.

And I can’t do anything about it.—Bayview2020

Same, same.

We have a lot in common.

It sucks when the person who ruined your life gets to walk around like always.

As if what they did doesn’t matter.

I beg to disagree with your conclusion, though.

There’s always something you can do.—Darkestmind



Monday, February 17

My sister thinks I’m a slacker. She’s not coming right out and saying it—or texting it, technically—but it’s heavily implied:

Did you check out that list of colleges I sent?

Winter of your junior year isn’t too early to start looking. It’s actually kind of late.

We could visit some places when I’m home for Ashton’s bachelorette party if you want.

You should apply somewhere totally