Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Running Girl by Simon Mason

Garvie Smith has the highest IQ in his school but has the lowest grades. His mum wants to know why. His teachers say it is because he doesn’t put in any effort. In fact, he finds getting out of bed in the mornings an effort and frequently does not even turn up for school. His mum wants him to do well in school. His GCSE’s are looming so she resorts to threats concerning what will happen if he does not get himself to school and actually pass his exams.

However, Garvie needs something to motivate him and school just does not do that for him. But when Chloe Dow’s body is pulled out of Pike Pond and the police start investigating, Garvie is sufficiently motivated to start asking questions himself to find out what happened to her.

This book has a lot to recommend it to young adults. It has a good story and is fast paced enough to keep readers riveted. Having said that, I am a little past the teenage years (a-hem) but I was pretty much hooked by this book myself.

Garvie is a really interesting character. I dislike stereotypes and whilst he was depicted very stereotypically as a disaffected teenager with an arrogant attitude, we also see a wonderfully clever minded young man who is able to look at situations from outside the box. His cockiness is slightly irritating but it is worth sticking with it to see a more rounded character emerge.

I also liked the character of DI Singh but I would have liked to see his character fleshed out a little more. However, the relationship between Garvie and DI Singh is very interesting and they form a curious, although somewhat implausible, pairing.

As a crime novel it has a very good story with enough sub-plots to keep a reader interested. It takes sufficient twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and I did not find the solution obvious. I like crime fiction as a genre and this had a gripping plot to equal many I have previously read.

I think this book would have wide appeal and would appeal to both boys and girls. It is an action packed page turner and I think both young people and adults alike will enjoy the story. This would be a great book to gift to a teenager who has become a little reluctant to read as there is much to keep them hooked.

ISBN: 978 0857560582

Publisher:  David Fickling Books

Price (based on today’s price at Amazon.co.uk): £9.09

Total saving so far: £254.65

Want to buy a copy of Running Girl? Click here to buy your copy.

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