AUTHOR: DERMOT BOLGER
When 16 year old Joey starts in a new school, he’s nervous about how he will be welcomed. He left his last school because of bullying, and is afraid that he could be put through that hell again. But when he looks behind him before entering the class-room for the first time, he sees a friendly looking boy behind him, and suddenly he’s not so scared anymore. He also notices a beautiful girl with black hair who smiles at him when she notices him in the doorway but looks away as soon as she spots the boy behind him.
Before long Joey and Shane, the boy who stood behind him that first day, are close friends, and initially Joey is delighted with this friendship. It isn’t long though before Shane’s behaviour starts to worry Joey. And if Shane is such a nice guy, why should black haired Geraldine avoid him at all costs, convinced he is evil? And then there is the old man, Thomas, who seems to know everything about Shane, Joey, Geraldine and their histories and families.
Joey soon realises that something is very wrong, but exactly what is happening is stranger, scarier and more dangerous than he could ever have imagined.
This is a rather creepy but wonderful story. Dealing with friendship, love, death, betrayal and trust, both the characters and the reader are taken on a rollercoaster ride through emotions, believe and disbelieve.
As the story is told in turn by several of the main characters, a dark picture slowly emerges. The truth of what exactly is going on is so strange and sinister that, while the characters in the book can’t quite believe it, the reader will not be able to completely anticipate it although the clues are there from the first page.
I liked that this book was about more than just keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. Although Dermot Bolger succeeded very well in creeping me out, he also managed to portrait the power of human kindness and honesty.
This is a young adult book that treats its readers as adults and doesn’t spell everything out in detail, forcing the reader to use their own imagination which makes the story even scarier than it would otherwise be.
In short, this is a good and fascinating page-turner.