An unlikely hero saves missing boys in this debut thriller.
From his hospital bed, 15-year-old Billy Zeets recounts his part in the mysterious disappearances of teenage boys from his small town. “I ain’t no hero, and I aim to prove it,” he declares in his haunting, first-person dialect. Once a juvenile delinquent who vandalized and stole from his neighbors, Billy has since reformed, but his reputation still precedes him. When his single, out-of-work father faces the loss of their house, the teen takes up odd jobs to try to raise enough money to keep them in their home. This coincides with the disappearances of several local boys, one of whom is found murdered. Tempted to go back to thievery in order to make money fast, Billy inadvertently uncovers clues that may lead him to the killer. Due to his reputation, this teen outsider knows he must track down the killer on his own, prove his guilt and hopefully find the missing boys in the process, because no one will believe the word of a former lying thief.
Flawed but observant and courageous, Billy and his taut storytelling will engage readers of all stripes. (Thriller. 14 & up)