THE UNMAKING OF DUNCAN VEERICK by Betty Levin

THE UNMAKING OF DUNCAN VEERICK

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

There is a mystery to be found in this, but it takes an inordinate time to get to it and then the whole thing fizzles. The first few paragraphs make it clear that eighth-grader Duncan is in trouble of some sort. Cops are questioning him about the death of a muddled old lady for whom he’s been doing odd jobs. Astrid Valentine has had several strikes and seems nervous about her nephew’s intentions toward her possessions. After a long time—during which Duncan and a friend unwillingly help Astrid try to hide her prized antiquities—she has a stroke and dies. Duncan is an extremely passive character for whom it’s hard to feel a great deal of sympathy. He’s so angry that he is under suspicion of a fire at Astrid’s and stealing her money, that he generally just sulks and avoids doing anything to better his situation. Only his sister and Duncan’s friend believe in his innocence. His parents, particularly his father, are hostile about the situation and clearly disbelieve his claims not to know the identity of the true culprit, though it will be obvious to most readers. Once everyone figures out the mystery, the story ends, with no satisfying description of the bad guy’s comeuppance. Dull and ultimately unsatisfying. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-932425-96-3
Page count: 204pp
Publisher: Front Street/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2007




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