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DRAW THE DARK by Ilsa J. Bick

DRAW THE DARK

By Ilsa J. Bick

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7613-5686-8
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab

Drawing has had unusual repercussions in 17-year-old Christian Cage's life: His mother has vanished to a sideways place he drew, his aunt drowned in a sinking car exactly as he sketched it out and he defaced a barn of the wealthiest man in Winter, Wisc., in his sleep. While he is doing restitution work for the barn incident, Christian has visions of a terrible 1945 murder involving a Jewish union organizer and a German factory owner who imported prisoners of war. Bick’s tight plotting drives the action forward, and dream drawing sequences provide tantalizing clues. Characterization is thin, however; the historical characters are more realized than the contemporary ones, and Christian’s attempts to deal with his guilt appear genuine but lack emotional impact. Resolving a twisted mystery with a surprising solution, the tense narrative unfortunately loses cohesion in tying up a few minor plot points. These small flaws notwithstanding, this otherwise excellent mystery might bring new life to a neglected genre. (Mystery. YA)