by Niall Leonard
ISBN: 978 0 385 67928 2
Finn’s life is not exactly glamorous – his dad is an out-of-work actor, his mom left when he was a little kid, and his dyslexia has held him back enough that he is working at a crummy fast food joint that he hates just to make ends sort of meet. This all looks not bad in retrospect, though, because one day he arrives home to find his dad murdered, and he’s a suspect. Since the police don’t seem interested in investigating too hard, he starts digging around himself, and soon finds himself in the middle of multiple messes involving a crime boss and his henchmen, not to mention a girl, a new job, his dad’s ex and her husband, and his reappearing mother.
Sound like there’s a lot going on here? There sure is. There are more twists and turns and ups and downs than a rollercoaster. The only thing that keeps Finn going is that he is a tough kid with some serious boxing chops and raw determination that only breaks when it’s all over. This is a gripping read, but it’s not for the faint of heart. The action involves plenty of beatdowns and ill-advised moves on Finn’s part, and the characters he tangles with are an assortment of dangerous types. It’s set in parts of London you won’t find in a guidebook, and emotion is set aside while Finn is focused on answers. Without posting spoilers, I will tell you that all the ends wrap up, but there is enough blood spilled to match any Shakespearean tragedy. It’s definitely for the teen who likes a gritty edge on their read – but for that kid? It’s a good ride.