Review Blog

Sep 21 2018

Found by Fleur Ferris

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Random House, 2018. ISBN 9780143784326
(Ages: secondary) Highly Recommended. Themes: Crime, Survival, Witness protection. About to tell her strict father, Bear, about her boyfriend, Beth hesitates when she sees him across the road waiting for her. A van pulls up and he is gone, his backpack left on the road. Explaining this to her mother she is met with a strictness she has never heard in her voice. Told to wait she is frightened by her tone, even more so when confronted by what she hears as they head for the bunker on their farm. In a witness protection program since she was a baby, Beth has had no idea that the skills her parents have developed in her as part of growing up were designed to make her resilient, able to adapt and survive.
This is a pace maker of a story, sure to grab every reader's attention as they are impelled to turn the pages wanting to see how Beth copes with this new set of circumstances.
Ferris' police background gives a strong base of reality to the tale, and her story telling skills are paramount as we watch Beth avoid the pitfalls put in her way.
Her new boyfriend, Jonah, senses that something is wrong when Beth does not answer calls or text messages, and her father does not turn up to sports training. Used to the family being absolute sticklers about turning up on time and keeping appointments, Jonah takes steps to go to the farm to investigate.
Here there are three men in balaklavas, already holding Bear, and waiting for Beth to show up. But they find Jonah instead and from the security of the bunker, Beth and her mother see him being beaten, and so decide to act, despite the strict instructions from Bear that once in the bunker they stay until help arrives.
Eventually Bear, Beth and Jonah are able to make some headway, but as the police arrive and the ambulance takes away Beth's mother, we know that the leader of the gang, Carlos, is still at large.
A superb thriller, Fleur Ferris has found a niche in young adolescent novels waiting to be filled by a writer with a strong background knowledge that permeates the whole story.
Fran Knight

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