Review Blog

Oct 15 2012

Crusher by Niall Leonard

cover image

Doubleday, 2012. ISBN 9780 857 53209 1.
(Ages: 14+) Crime fiction. Coming home from his brain dead job at a take away chicken joint in London, Finn finds his house is quiet and the curtains pulled across.Feeling uneasy he finds his father's body slumped over the table, blood damp across his bashed in head. Calling in the police means he is the main suspect, and he takes it into his head to investigate the murder himself. There follows an easy to read crime fiction thriller, following his steps to uncover the murderer.
His father, really a stepfather, was an out of work actor, and wanted to write a novel about London's underworld. His need to investigate characters as fully as he could may have meant that he had got too close to McGovern, the underworld boss, so that is the first place Finn starts to look. In an impulsive move, Finn gets inside the man's house and from there the reader's nerves will tingle as Finn tries to avoid McGovern and the policemen who are convinced he is their murderer. A number of characters seem to want to help Finn but he is wary, feeling that they possibly know more than they are letting on.
This is such an easy read, jumping so easily from one event to another without much subtlety, that young readers will be entranced. Cliched situations and characters abound, but are most acceptable in this easily digested story. For younger secondary readers, it will introduce the reader to the genre, one becoming more prevalent in the young adult market, and for those more used to this genre, this will be a few hours of easy escapism as Finn strolls around situations others would not dare enter.
Leonard's background as a screenwriter comes thorough as many episodes are very filmic, the settings minutely detailed and the characters easy to recognise, with a little sex thrown into the mix.
Fran Knight

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