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CHASE by Jessie Haas

CHASE

By Jessie Haas

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-06-112850-3
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

When aptly named Phin Chase witnesses a murder in brutal Pennsylvania coal country in 1875, he knows at once he’ll be blamed. Aren’t the murderers Sleepers, Irish vigilantes at war with the coal bosses? They run Phin’s world, and their leader, Ned Plume, takes charge of the chase to catch him. Plume’s lover inadvertently makes it worse for Phin by handing him Plume’s wallet, which contains “six men’s lives”—incriminating names on a slip of paper. Though the clever actions of his old friends help spirit him out of town, Phin isn’t safe—a mysterious stranger named Fraser joins the hunt, with a black stallion that seems to be able to hunt by smell. The story’s beginning is hard to follow, but as Chase gains momentum, the action and nuanced writing carry the reader pell-mell to a wholly believable end. Haas’s best yet for older readers. (Historical fiction. 12-14)