"You really don't know what kind of school this is, do you?"
"It's a spy school," I snapped, blood pounding in my veins.
He shook his head slowly. Even in the dim light I saw his eyes go wide. "Not spies. Not always."
"Then what?"
"Come on, Gallagher Girl - a school in the middle of nowhere for troubled boys with no other place to go? You know what this place is."
I looked at the room around us, thought about the rifle ranges and the marching boys, about the hours my roommates and I had spent last spring searching for any clue about Blackthorne and finding nothing but secrets and lies.
"No," I said. "Mr. Solomon went here. He -"
"Was starting to change things," Zach finished. He stepped closer. "You know what we are, Gallagher Girl."
"No." I shook my head. "You can't be..."
There are a lot of terms for what Zach was trying to say. Killers. Wet work artists. But all I could do was look at the boy who stood beside me - the boy I barely knew - and whisper, "Assassins."


Blackthorne Institute is a top secret school for spies and assassins. Dr. Steve Sanders was a teacher there. The first mention of the school was when Cammie found a picture of Mr. Solomon, who was wearing a Blackthorne t-shirt, with her father when they were young.

In OGSY, Zach told Cammie - in the caves underneath Blackthorne, that they don't use any assassin tactics anymore. That the 'curriculum' has been changing thanks to Joe Solomon.   

Blackthorne is the complete opposite of Gallagher—it is a place with lots of secrets, shadows and a very unsavory past. That is why the Gallagher Girls live in a mansion and Blackthorne resembles a prison.


The location of Blackthorne was never fully specified in OTGSY, possibly in Maine (on Ally's website Qs&As GG4). During the car ride, in OTGSY, Cammie timed how long it took to get from the Gallagher Academy to the Blackthorne Institute for Boys and it took roughly ten hours. It is located somewhere in the mountains and surrounded by barbed wire designed to keep people in or to look like a prison. It also states that the boys did night drills and Cammie says she doesn't want to know why.


Blackthorne does night drills when Cammie and Zach were sneaking in. Blackthorne's cover story is a boarding school for troubled boys. In the "covert operations report" Cammie writes on Blackthorne, she states that the Blackthorne Boys wore jumpers in a "shade of yellow, which, acoording to Operative McHenry, is a color "no one looks good in". Cammie then realizes what Zach meant when he said she would not like life at his school, wouldn't like it at all.

In CMH it is noted that all the boys from Blackthorne had hair not much longer than a buzz cut.

Students and StaffEdit


Former Blackthorne BoysEdit

Current Blackthorne BoysEdit

Semester at the Gallagher Academy Facts & Fiction Edit

  • The Blackthorne delegation consisted of fifteen boys ranging from eight grade to senior.
  • It was rumored that one of the boys was a son of an infamous double agent, and the CIA had faked his death and legally adopted him in order to develop him as a sleeper operative.
  • It was a rumor that Dr. Steve had broken Madame Dabney's heart in a bitter love triangle with a Pakistani belly dancer in the Champagne region of France.