________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 5 . . . . October 28, 2005


Dead and Gone.

Norah McClintock.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2004.
224 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 0-439-96759-7 (pbk.).

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

Grades 7-10 / Ages 12-15.

Review by Rita Rebizant.

*** /4


"The guy I work for, he's an old guy, older than you."

"That old, huh?" He sounded partly amused, partly not-so-amused.

"And he's always checking out the girls at the community centre."

"What do you mean, checking them out?"

"Looking at them. Watching the girls' skating lessons. Watching the swim meets."

Riel leaned forward. "And?"

"And what?"

"You asked me if I thought it was weird. Do you think it's weird?"

"I don't know," I said. I couldn't decide. "I mean, he works there. Maybe he's just interested. Maybe he has kids of his own." I didn't know anything about him. "But there's this one girl - I saw him look in her backpack when she wasn't there."


Sixteen-year-old Mike, assigned to community service for a petty theft, is mopping floors and helping the quiet, yet demanding janitor, Mr. Henderson at the community centre. Mike, who has also settled in with Riel, his teacher and foster dad who happens an ex-cop, is trying hard to stay out of trouble. However, it seems to just follow him around, beginning with Mr. Henderson's behaviour. When Mike discovers Mr. Henderson watching the girls and rifling through a girl's backpack during one of the swim meets at the community centre, he believes there is definitely more to the man than meets the eye. Not sure what to do, but knowing he should do something, Mike steals a look through the bag himself but gets caught – by the girl. Knowing that he looks guilty, Mike tells her about Mr. Henderson and his interest in her. But Emily Corwin is more devious than he would have thought, and she does some research of her own on Mike. When he is summoned to her home, he is presented with a choice - learn what he can about Mr. Henderson, or her wallet, which has his fingerprints on it, will go to the police. Knowing that she holds his future in her hands because of his previous run-ins with police, Mike realizes that he doesn't have a choice.

     Meanwhile, Riel has his own drama unfolding. The ex-cop saw the evening news deliver a story about human bones that were discovered in the woods just outside of town, and he later learns from his friend, Detective Jones, that the remains of the body have evidence tying him to a past murder. Mike and Riel do some sleuthing and discover that their two situations, which appear to be completely unrelated, are actually connected, a situation that results in a very explosive climax to this mystery story.

      Dead and Gone is the third novel in the Mike and Riel series, and McClintock has created another intriguing read with enough twists and turns to keep readers guessing through the final pages.


Rita Rebizant is an Educational Assistant in Hanover School Division and a teacher candidate in the B.Ed. program at the University of Manitoba.


To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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