COVERUP by Jay Bennett


Age Range: 14 & up
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 When Alden Whitlock, drunken son of a prominent local figure, kills a homeless man, the hit-and-run accident is quickly hushed up. Brad, who had been a semi-comatose passenger in the car, wakes up next morning with vague, disturbing memories--but Alden, Judge Whitlock, and all his friends earnestly assure him that nothing happened. Bennett's plot is painfully contrived--Brad returns to what he thinks is the scene of the crime and finds it swept clean except for a bloodstained pocket-watch with the engraved initials ``P.M.H.''; shortly thereafter, a young woman named Ellen Hanson arrives from out of town with solid evidence that her homeless father Paul had been in the area. Romance blooms as she forces Brad to come clean, but she leaves in disgust when no one else will talk. Amid much talk of responsibility and perspective, Brad confronts Alden and his father; but it's Alden's mother who finally blows the whistle out of concern for her son's conscience. Bennett's use of repetition, inch-long sentences and monosyllabic dialogue make his writing accessible for reluctant readers; still, compared to Strasser's The Accident (1988), both plot and themes here seem raw and undeveloped. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-531-15224-3
Page count: 144pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1991