________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 2 . . . . September 17, 2004

cover Truth and Lies.

Norah McClintock.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2004.
202 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 0-439-96919-0.

Subject Headings:
Murder-Juvenile fiction.
Gangs-Juvenile fiction.
Detective and mystery stories.

Grades 7-10 / Ages 12-15.

Review by Betsy Fraser.

***1/2 /4


I didn't dare look at Riel, but I felt him right there at my elbow.

"What I don't understand," Detective Jones said, "Is how you could have been on your street, in front of your house, at the time you said you were, and how you didn't see the fire truck that was there. You want to tell me how that can be, Mike?"

It's pretty serious when a high school student is kicked to death. Yes, Mike knew Robbie Ducharme. Yes, Mike did have skinned knuckles. Yes, Mike was near the park that night, but he didn't have anything to do with killing anyone. So why won't he tell the police the truth? When he is identified as being near the murder scene, then supplies a string of alibis that prove to be fictional to the detectives, not only they but people around him find it harder and harder to believe him innocent. Mike finds himself becoming the most likely target when other students provide the police with other evidence against him. Now that Mike has a history of lies, how will he be able to dispute lies against him and prove himself innocent?

     Norah McClintock has written a tautly plotted and suspenseful mystery. Combined with a straightforward writing style, this book will appeal to any high-interest/low-vocabulary reader in junior high or high school. Mike is an appealing teen who doesn't see the danger he is in until it is too late, and he has no idea what to do in this sequel to Hit and Run. Mike is the center around which this mystery revolves and does not require readers to have read the first novel, although it will more than likely entice them to it and others in McClintock's oeuvre. The five-time winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Crime Fiction has presented another solid Young Adult mystery.

Highly Recommended.

Betsy Fraser is a librarian with Calgary Public Library.


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