CM . . . .
Volume VII Number 16 . . . . April 13, 2001
Jonah did a classic double-take when he saw me and my sign. The FREE COUNTRY, FREE SPEECH side of my picket went well with his FREE HAROLD SHACKLETON. The flip side, FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY - WRONGFULLY DENIED, was a nice compliment to his HAROLD SHACKLETON - WRONGFULLY CONVICTED.Chloe Yan was not expecting to have a lunch tray dumped in her lap. All she did was ask if a seat was taken in the lunchroom. When the guy she asked made a colourful suggestion and took off, she pointed out, loudly, that he hadn't cleared off his tray. So he did - right into her lap. This rude fellow, Jonah Shackleton, has just come back to school after time in a group home for violently attacking the editor of the school paper. Until his father killed his mother and the two kids were sent to live with an aunt, Jonah used to live in the same house as Chloe. Now Chloe is forced to spend time with Jonah when she is asked to tutor him, and she is surprised by the contradictions that Jonah presents. Jonah is certain that his father did not murder his mother and is willing to go to almost any length to prove it. Chloe wonders why the mayor, who had investigated the crime, is so set against any investigation into the crime. As Chloe and Jonah delve deeper into the mystery surrounding the murder, they come closer to danger which includes a threat not only to Chloe's family but also to her life.
Norah McClintock has written a tautly plotted mystery that will attract a wide range of readers. The plot, combined with the author's straightforward writing style, will appeal to any hi/low readers in upper junior high or high school. Chloe is a bright and appealing teen who doesn't hesitate to follow her gut instinct. Last seen in Over the Edge, Chloe and Levesque continue to explore their relationship and solve crimes that everybody else overlooks. The character of Jonah could easily be one-dimensional and serve merely to focus Chloe on the case. Instead, he is given a home life, interests and a passion for saving his father. The three-time winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Crime Fiction has presented another solid Young Adult mystery.
Betsy Fraser is a librarian with Calgary Public Library.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.