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CLOSE TO THE HEEL by Norah McClintock


From the Seven (The Series) series

by Norah McClintock

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-55469-950-6
Publisher: Orca

This exciting mystery-suspense novel takes readers to faraway Iceland.

Written as one of a set of seven linked novels to be released simultaneously, this story easily stands on its own. Seventeen-year-old Rennie has serious trouble getting along with his superstrict, military dad and has engaged in serious rebellion since his mom died. As the novel opens, Rennie finds himself close to death, stumbling alone through a massive field of snow and ice, waiting to freeze. Rennie’s grandfather has died, leaving a request that Rennie go to Iceland to memorialize the enigmatic woman who had saved him after a plane crash in World War II. There, he stays with teenage Brynja and her father and grandfather, the doctor who also helped Rennie’s grandfather. Brynja, responding to Rennie’s insolence, treats him with open hostility from the start. Rennie quickly learns that a murder mystery festers in the tiny village. As he learns more, he wonders if Brynja’s family members are victims or culprits. When he uncovers the first real evidence of murder, however, he becomes the next possible victim. McClintock writes with her usual simple prose that can appeal to a broad audience, scattering little clues for astute readers and highlighting Iceland’s interesting culture. Rennie’s defiant character will appeal to many reluctant readers, who may be moved to try another in the series.

A neat, suspenseful mystery tailor-made for young readers. (Mystery. 10-14)