So the story starts as follow...
CURSED LAKE. CURSED DELANEY
We left off in the last installment as Delaney survived Troy's murder/suicide combo. Basically he went to the lake and tried to kill himself and take Delaney with him. She survived and everything seemed to be left off on a happy note at the end.
Now Delaney is being haunted by every single death that occurs in their little town. Not literally hunted mind you. Everyone in town seems to think the lake is cursed, and that Delaney is somehow responsible for this. Like her surviving tipped the balance, or like Decker stole a death from the lake the moment he pulled her out.
"Too much coincidence, you look for reason.
Too much death, you grasp for something to blame.
They call it the Curse of Falcon Lake, but that's just because they're not completely horrible people. But Delaney knows-I know, we all know-that when people say "Falcon Lake," they're really talking about her."
Vengeance is not told from Delaney's POV, it is told from Decker's. PSYCH! Decker and Delaney are a couple now and they are spending pretty much every day together. Decker even got a job at the assisted living facility so he could be closer to Delaney.
DECKER'S FATHER DIES
But tragedy is soon to occur. Decker's father dies of a heart condition pretty early in the book, and Decker is sure that Delaney knew about the death and instead just choose to not do anything about it. This puts a big rift between our main characters with Decker putting some of the blame of his father's death on Delaney. They break up.
Janna, Carson's sister who blames her brother's death on Delaney, comes back. She starts hanging out with the gang again and starts to form this "bond of death" with Decker. In her eyes their family's death has a connection, Delaney. Delaney is to blame for everything, she is the curse come to life.
After Decker's father's death his house gets vandalized. Someone breaks into the house and turns on all the water pipes in the house and clogs the sinks in order for the water to overflow throughout the house. Decker, of course, thinks is the curse of Falcon Lake coming for pay back. Because his house is marked "uninhabitable" Decker is then forced (guiltied) by his mother into staying at Delaney's house until their house is ready to go. Decker is upset about his but eventually gives in and starts sleeping in the house's office.
After coming back from a BBQ charity thing at their school (where Decker meets Maya's brother, Holden) Decker confronts Delaney about her not telling him about his father's imminent death Delaney snaps and tells him she did try to do something, she told Decker's father that he was going to die. Decker's father didn't really believe her, but confirmed to her that he knew about his heart condition and that he and his doctor where doing their best to take care of it. He made Delaney promise not to tell Decker about the disease. Now Decker is mad at Delaney, his mother, and his father. Nobody trusted him with the information, everybody who he cares about lied to him for months (omitted information, but whatever).
As Decker's world is imploding they hear breaking glass coming from the house's first floor. Delaney goes quickly to check it out, with Decker right behind her. The house's glass windows have been vandalized, completely broken. Another attack that seems connected to Decker.
CARSON WAS HERE; AND SO WAS DECKER.
Earlier in the story Decker paints the words "Carson was here" in one of the school walls in homenage to their dead buddy. But then somebody paints underneath of that "and so was Decker" pretty much placing blame for the mural on Decker's hands. He gets called into the principal's office and is given the task to paint over the mural as punishment for his small rebellion.
"Don't make us cheap. Don't make us not matter. Don't give us up."
And so Decker and Delaney had sex before this whole fiasco happened. Just thought I'd throw that out there into the universe.
Next big thing that happens is their class goes on a trip to Boston to look at colleges. Delaney however has additional plans in mind. She also has an appointment scheduled with a guy who is doing post grad research on pheromones that might indicate somewhat what is going on with Delaney. When Decker finds out about this he insists on coming with her, and so they go. They meet the guy, and of course the guy is super creepy and has taped conversations with Delaney about her "special circumstances". Decker, after confronting the guy, takes the tape recorder with him and erases it completely.
Days pass while Decker tries to conquer his inner demons. He fights a lot with Delaney, until he finally realizes that he is not mad at her anymore for keeping his father's secret, he is just angry in general. They get back together, and the same night that that happens they find Tara, their overgrown super hot friend, face down in the lake. It turns out she hit her head and went down, but no one knows how exactly she got to the lake. Decker thinks whoever did it thought Tara was Delaney, and so Delaney was the real target.
"How to put to put to words the way I could feel everything connecting? The way we feel about the lake, the way we let ourselves fear it an believe-that it wants us. That it could hurt us. The way a person could use that fear. Could hide something inside it. It's just the lake; it's what it wants. Except it's not the lake.
It's what someone wants. Someone wants her gone"
They spend the next few chapters speculating who could have put Tara in the lake. Then Decker has an epiphany of who could have been the only person in the vicinity who could have confused Tara with Delaney, Maya's brother Holden.
Decker thinks that the reason Holder tired to get rid of Delaney was because Delaney could feel that their mother wasn't in their lake house anymore. Which she isn't, because she is dead. She died of natural circumstances but then, because Holder and Maya needed her life insurance to survive, Holder dragged their mother's body to the lake. Maya confirms this story and points to the authorities where they can find the body. Solving one the the books biggest mysteries: Why is Maya so moody and bitchy?
The other mystery is who is messing with this kids and their fear of the lake? Who is breaking windows, leaving sinks open, drowning car batteries? Well, it is none other than Janna. Who is bitter, and angry, and feeling alone b/c of her brother's death. Decker confronts her, and she admits it.
"I thought you guys didn't remember," she said. "That you were letting Carson go. And he never would've let you guys forget me. Never."
Carving his name into the wood. Showing us the curse. The trade. A reminder.
"But the curse... it made you all remember. You remembered everything that happened. What we lost. And why."
Decker decides to let Jenna off the hook after thinking about what Carson would've done in his place, Decker doesn't tell the authorities or their friends about what Jenna did.
In the end Decker let's go of his anger and decides to forgive all those people around him. Delaney, for not giving up his father's secret. Jenna, for committing stupid petty crimes that helped her grieve. Specially his father, for dying and leaving them, Decker and his mother, all alone.
- Decker: Main character of the story. The boy who pulled Delaney out of the lake. Delaney's boyfriend. Decker loses his father in this story and is thus angry and slightly depressed.
- Delaney: The girl who survived being underwater for 11 minutes after which she develops the ability to sense when others are near death. Delaney is also Decker's girlfriend. Her ability is not fully explained and is only theorized upon.
- Jenna: Carson's sister. She is responsible for a lot of the fright that comes when people think about the lake since she orchestrated events that fed the mythology of the cursed lake. She is angry and a little bitter, she misses her brother deeply and blames Delaney a little for what happened to him.
- Carson (his memory): Carson died in the previous novel. Delaney, sensing he was near death, tried to save him by driving him to the hospital, but it was no use. Carson was free spirited and knew about his condition from very early on, which is why he lived his life as if any day might be his last.
- Maya and Holder: Sister and brother. They moved in to the town recently with their sick mother. Maya starts dating Kevin. After their mother dies they hide the body in the lake in order for them to be able to support themselves by cashing in their mother's disability checks-their mother comes up with the idea.
- Tara: Sometimes part of the gang, Tara runs in many circles. She is tall and hot with a lot of attitude. She used to date Kevin and is mistaken for Delaney on Halloween night when she is wearing a blonde wig. She falls and bumps her head, going unconscious. She is then dragged unto the lake, the assailant thinking Delaney was her and that she might just drown.
- Kevin and Justin: Decker's best friend's. Kevin dates Maya, and Justin has a short lived fling with Jenna.