DANGER BEATS THE DRUM by Arnold Madison

DANGER BEATS THE DRUM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

...with an unsteady rhythm, unfortunately. Dope addiction is a new social problem for juvenile books to grapple with and this is the first story to center on it. The message is a valid one and the approach used here is basically effective. Or it would have been if the hero, Bob Carsten, weren't also concerned with race prejudice, teen riots vs. constructive teen projects, living down a highly publicized account of a fight for which he had been partly responsible, adjusting to the slaying of his police officer father, reconciling himself to the man his mother may marry. This is all in addition to some strange occurrences at the apparently placid summer resort where the Carstens are vacationing--an intruder in their own cottage, an inexplicable theft of some snapshots, vandalism, the obnoxious behavior of one of the boys, the peculiar comings and goings of one of the most popular vacationers. It's quite reasonable when Bob puts these elements together to find the anonymous dope pusher in person, but the mystery is hampered by the unlikely coincidences and abundant cliches. One minor but noteworthy detail--for once the loyal dog doesn't ""sense evil"" and is just as attracted to the real criminal as everyone else is. There's a core of reality here, but the clumsy handling is just as likely to encourage as repel youthful cynicism.

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 1966
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston