Review by The Mole
Joe Slattery's mum has been killed in a car crash. Joe can't understand why she was in the car anyway because she never got lifts from strangers and he had never heard of Ivo Lincoln, the driver, before. It hurts him to even think about it. While out playing ball with his dog, Oz, he comes across a big house that's been closed up for years and investigating Oz is kidnapped by a tramp. Joe has to steal food, money and medicines for him. Joe doesn't need this right now. He is now living with his aunt, who hates his very existence and would throw him out at the first opportunity.
This is very much a thriller for young teens although I have seen one major book retailer describe it for adults too. Well? Yes, the plot is pretty strong with very little child superhero stuff and it is quite complex. But not that complex to deter young readers. An extremely enjoyable read that is, yes, compelling, unputdownable and all those clichés - but it has to be doesn't it to be a really good book?
I did, funnily enough, find it very hard to 'get inside' Joe's head - I didn't really feel the pain that he suffered or feel his motivation but then it's not something that has ever happened to me, or many other readers either I hope - but it didn't matter at all. The plot twists and turns as Joe guesses at what has happened and consistently gets it wrong - and that's a nice feature - until it gets to the end and all is revealed. Most every other character I found I understood, from the aunt to gang bosses and from his friends to his uncle.
All in all an extremely good book and one I would recommend to anyone aged 12 or older.
Publisher - Chicken House
Genre - Teen/YA Thriller
Buy Chasing the Dark