Almost thirteen-year-old Sam is woken in the middle of the night by angry voices from the apartment above. He goes to the window to check out what’s happening, hears a struggle, and sees a body fall from the sixth-floor balcony. Sam, who is staying with his dad Harry for the week, goes to wake his dad up. Harry is a crime reporter, after all. But when Sam goes to Harry’s room, he sees he is all alone in the one-bedroom apartment. When Sam goes downstairs to investigate, he notices the body has disappeared. During this time though, someone has seen Sam peeking through the window and knows what he has witnessed.
What will the next twenty-four hours hold for Sam?
This is the first book I’ve read by Tristan Bancks and I was captivated from the start. The first chapter hooks the reader in as you want to know a number of things: who died, where is Harry, does Sam know the killer, will Sam get hurt and finally, who is the killer? In addition to the suspense, you also get some insight into Sam’s family life – his recent issues with his mum, his behaviour at school and his strained relationship with his dad who he has just met – all of which you continue wanting to know more about.
Sam is a great character – almost a teenager, he struggles with issues around friendship and family, about needing to be a certain way that’s acceptable. Kids and younger teens would certainly be able to identify with him and his struggles. The book manages to have several lessons in it without being preachy. Of course, the best bit about the book is the suspense. Given it’s a crime fiction novel aimed at kids and teens, it is a page-turner and a quick read. Kids are sure to enjoy this one as are adults.
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Until next time,