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SKELETON KEY by Anthony Horowitz


by Anthony Horowitz

Age Range: 12 - 16

Pub Date: May 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-399-23777-4
Publisher: Philomel

The third in the continuing adventures of Alex Rider, 14-year-old British spy, provides a rollicking ride for young action fans. Alex finds himself entangled with a renegade Russian general intent on causing a massive nuclear explosion that would poison most of Western Europe. Armed with a few spy gadgets and his own sense of duty, Alex masquerades as the son CIA agents and travels to a small island owned by Cuba. He foils an attempt by a ruthless smuggler to kidnap and murder his ersatz father, fights a frenzied great white shark, and barely avoids being crushed to death as a conveyor belt moves him ever closer to the grinding wheels in an old sugar mill. Finally meeting his major foe, he learns that the man identifies Alex with his dead son and wants to adopt him. Alex must fight the villain as a nuclear bomb ticks off the seconds to doomsday. Horowitz continues his always preposterous plots with several unapologetic references to the James Bond oeuvre. As usual, he keeps the suspense high and the pages turning; it’s pure escapist entertainment. (Fiction. 12-16)