Wednesday 4 July 2012

DEAD TIME by Anne Cassidy

Rose and Joshua first met when Joshua and his dad came to live with Rose and her mum. Then their world turns upside down when their mother and father go out for dinner one evening and never return. With police inquiries going nowhere, Rose is dispatched to live with her chilly, unfriendly grandmother and Joshua is sent to live with his uncle. Then Joshua comes to London to study and Rose is witness to not one, but two murders. Why is this happening to Rose? Can it be anything to do with the investigations Joshua has been doing into the disappearance of their parents?
A taut and pacy thriller that is the start of a stylish new series from an acclaimed writer for teens.

As soon as I received a copy of this book for review, I was intrigued by the concept.

Rose Smith was twelve, and Joshua Johnson was fourteen, the night their parents--Rose's mother and Joshua's father--went out to dinner and never came home. Rose was sent to her estranged grandmother in London and Joshua to his uncle in Newcastle. They haven't seen each other for five years, but for the last six months have been exchanging emails and she can't wait to see him. She still remembers the happy times they spent together when they all lived as a family for three years.

However, the night she's going to take a train to meet with Joshua, she runs into a troublemaker from school. Ricky Harris likes to bully her and has since she left boarding school and started attending a nearby college. However, while taunting her on the platform he gets a call and takes off. The next thing she knows, she hears him arguing with someone and finds him dead on the walkway.

Now, without intending to she's gotten herself caught up in not one but two investigations. Ricky isn't the only teenager found dead, and Joshua has become obsessed with solving the mystery of what happened to his father and Rose's mother the night they disappeared.

But some secrets are meant to stay hidden for a reason, and the deeper they delve into things, the more complicated everything becomes. Putting Rose right in the middle of danger, and leading them down an unexpected road...

I really enjoyed the depth of this story. Not just the mystery side of things--which was excellent, btw--but also the characters. Both Rose and Joshua are two kids who desperately miss their parents and the life they briefly shared. There's a very strong connection between them, a bond that will no doubt keep them together as the series moves along.

Also, I have to mention that I could totally relate to Rose. While some of the kids refer to her as posh or just hard to get along with, no one truly understands how hard her life is. Not only has she accepted that her mother is dead without having any real evidence, but she's living with a woman who doesn't know how to deal with her. It's no wonder that Rose comes across as standoffish, when she's actually being cautious. After the emotional devastation she's suffered in her young life, it's understandable. She's a wonderful and very complicated character, one I can't wait to find out more about. Especially, what exactly happened with her former best friend while she was in boarding school? Can't wait to find out more about that.

Dead Time is an engrossing book. As soon as I started it, I found it hard to put down. I just had to find out where everything was going to lead. This is one of the best YA crime books I've ever read. It's an edge-of-your-seat thriller, with several mysteries running at the same time, and has several twists and turns. And the main mystery is slowly unravelling.

It's amazing and I loved it! Looking forward to reading the next book!

Dead Time, June 2012, ISBN 9781408815502, Bloomsbury

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