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DEAD CONNECTION by Charlie Price


by Charlie Price

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-59643-114-8
Publisher: Deborah Brodie/Roaring Brook

A spectral mystery starts strong but ends differently. High-schooler Murray talks to dead people—and they talk back. Usually Murray finds speaking with the dead restful, a vast improvement over spending time with his prostitute mother. Lately, though, there’s been a restless spirit disturbing the cemetery’s peace, and Murray worries that it may be connected to a schoolmate who went missing a while back. Along with Pearl, the possessive daughter of the cemetery groundskeeper, Murray investigates the unhappy haunt. Intriguing secondary characters have their own puzzles to solve, usually compelling, though occasionally their stories dissolve in to educational lectures about drugs and mental health. The different voices add to the puzzle, as each follows his own path to solving the crime. What readers think they know is often challenged, and no neat resolution exists. Though the story ends in an unusual and slightly awkward fashion, the realistic complexities explored are ripe for discussion. (Fiction. 12-14)