Crusher

Publisher: Doubleday

Review

Seventeen-year-old Finn Maguire's life is not a happy one. He's already dropped out of school, and is stuck working in a depressing burger joint in order to make a bit of money to support himself and his dad, a washed-up ex-TV actor who always claims to be on the brink of another big break, but never quite comes up with the goods. But when Finn arrives home to find his father lying in a pool of blood, his already difficult life takes a dramatic turn for the worse. Soon, Finn is in the interview room at the local police station, being interrogated by an aggressive policeman, and treated as if he himself is under suspicion of having committed the crime.

Determined to prove his own innocence and to discover the truth about his father's murder, Finn sets out to discover who was really responsible, taking him on a dangerous journey into London's criminal underworld.

Screenwriter Niall Leonard makes his first forray into novel-writing in this gritty young adult crime thriller. Punchy and dramatic, featuring high-octane high-octane violence, swearing and teenage sex, this is a hard-hitting young adult novel which never patronises its readers. Finn is a well-observed hero and alongside the action, Leonard touches on some serious topics, including the complexities of family relationships. Although some of the more outrageous plot twists risk making the story feel unconvincing in places, this is nonetheless a readable and entertaining thriller that will particularly appeal to young male readers.

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