Review Blog

Oct 15 2012

Malice by Gabrielle Lord

cover image

Conspiracy 365 (series). Scholastic, 2012. ISBN 9781 74283 362 8.
(Ages 10+) Recommended. Biggles and Famous Five, eat your hearts out, here is an adventure series which will draw even the most reluctant reader in, with all the panache of a 1950's cinematic thriller, enticing kids to boo and hiss at the villains and cheer when the heroes inevitably outsmart their captors. I loved this book, which continues the series onspiracy 365, full of well drawn but cliched bad eggs and noble country folk willing to help our heroes.
When Winter goes with her friends, Cal and Ryan to the house she has inherited, they find local people singularly unhelpful, but the post she received giving the cryptic information that she had 30 days before the Drowner came, impels them into action. Searching reveals an entrance to the caves below, the scene of a shipwreck nearby and possibly holding the treasure from the ship. But others are after the same treasure. So becomes a game of cat and mouse as the bad eggs try to scare the trio out of the house with easily seen through attempts and then use much stronger force and the threat of death to get their way.
A heart stopping episode at the end of the book will have all readers, like me, wondering how they will escape alive and I even thought for a mad minute that Lord was going to include a death. Relief was longed for as the teens escaped their captors and were able to restore the next door farm to its original condition.
A great series of books, Revenge and Malice continue the Conspiracy 365 series, and these will be followed with a new trilogy called New Black Ops in 2013.
Fran Knight

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