A suspense thriller about an Abenaki teenager running for his life in the wilderness.
From the moment Nick opens the wrong compartment door on a train to summer camp, his life is in peril. A man he calls Dead Eyes is trying to kill Nick because he is the only witness to the brutal murder of a Chinese Canadian passenger with a beaded briefcase. Escaping into the Canadian wilderness, Nick hears his Grampa Elie in his head, offering him First Nation survival tips about how to stay warm, start a fire, take advice from the animals, and elude his captors. Smart prey run, but they also turn the tables on those who hunt them by gaining higher ground, and as Nick begins to realize the environmental health of his Indigenous homelands is at stake in his race against death, he becomes even more determined to gain the upper hand on the killer who is threatening his life. The novel offers a wealth of northern Indigenous wisdom even as its main character is portrayed as a martial arts–loving boy in a contemporary world. Bruchac’s (Nulhegan Abenaki) (Two Roads, 2018, etc.) taut pacing and clear prose make this an appealing choice with strong reader appeal.
A fast and riveting read that puts an Indigenous spin on the classic crime tradition. (Thriller. 12-18)