Caroline Green's Dark Ride is a supernatural thriller set in a broken down seaside town that could be anywhere. Anyone who knows the British coast at all knows those salty cafes that sell nescafe and those deserted fairgrounds where the wind blows rubbish through them. This is the stage for Dark Ride and Green gets it absolutely bang on. Sitting in deft layers on top of this are stories of heartbreaking teenage love, family break-ups, urban disintegration, and grown-up stuff like covert slave-labour rings. There's also a corking cameo of a guitar-playing Dad in a Ramones T-shirt who can never quite get anything right. I mention this because, as with the scenery, Green gets her characters absolutely spot on in ways that can be deeply moving. My favourite though is her irresistible heroine Bel, who despite being a typical gobby teenager, has real depth in her soul, a real conscience and a wonderful palette of jumbled-up but nonetheless deadly serious ethical values. In that respect Bel is Dark Ride because - without spoiling the plot - if we didn't care about her and her highly unorthodox love affair, this would just be another feisty young adult novel. But we find ourselves deeply involved in Bel's insecurities while Green wraps her splendid story telling around a robust moral centre. A truly lovely book in so many ways, not least that Green is a proper writer who, if there is any justice, will publish many more books like this.