Summary of "Die Softly" by Christopher Pike

Christopher Pike has been writing teen thrillers since his first book, "Slumber Party," was published in 1985. He is the author of over 50 books, many of which place high school students in perilous situations that they may or may not survive. "Die Softly" follows the same vein as many of his earlier books, with teens behaving badly, murder, and a good guy caught up in events beyond his control who tries to figure it all out.

The Main Event

In Christopher Pike's "Die Softly," Herb Trasker, a high school senior with few friends, decides to take pictures of cheerleaders as they shower in the gym locker room. He sets up his camera, sets the timer, and comes back to find a photo that appears to be of the murder of a girl who died that night. Her death was supposed to be an accident, but the photo makes Herb suspicious and draws the attention of the murderer.

Herb Trasker

Herb is an awkward teen stuck in a small town. He dreams of bigger things and plans to get them through his photography, which he hopes will take him to Los Angeles and a career in film. He lives with his single mother and works nights at an electronics factory to pay for his photography equipment and help out around the house. Herb's only friends are Sammie, a girl he hangs out with occasionally, and Theo, his best friend. When Sammie suggests he take naked photos of cheerleaders, he doesn't know it will get him mixed up in murders.

Theo and Roger

Theo has been falling apart since the death of his brother, Roger, six months earlier. He blames Roger's girlfriend, Lisa, for Roger's death, but Sammie claims she, Lisa and Lisa's friend Alexa were all at the movies in another town when Roger drove his car off a cliff. Theo doesn't believe them and tries to get to the bottom of what really happened to his brother. He is also suspicious of Herb, following him when Herb sets up his camera equipment in the school locker room. He thinks Herb knows more than he is saying.

Alexa the Cheerleader

Alexa is a cheerleader and Herb's secret crush. She seems to be an innocent victim, bullied by her friend Lisa and dating a football player who seems more interested in Lisa than he is in her. When Lisa dies in the same manner as Roger, Alexa turns to Herb for help. Herb can't believe the girl of his dreams is talking to and hanging out with him. But Alexa may be more involved in the recent events than she lets on. Can she be trusted? Herb must bet his life that he knows the answer to that question.