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Twelve-year-old Megan Perk unwittingly becomes involved in a criminal's plan to embezzle money from a construction company and is also the only eyewitness in a serious hit-and-run accident. The chain of events starts when softhearted Megan determines to save a group of feral cats that she discovers in an empty field near her house. Shane Turner is a convicted criminal who is embezzling money from his brother-in-law's construction company. When he spots Megan hanging around the site of the company's next project, he sees his whole plan of stealing even more money and then making a perfect getaway going up in smoke. Shane's scheme requires that the construction project start right away—any busybody do-gooders interested in saving a bunch of worthless wild cats who might delay the start of the building will throw a serious wrench into the plan. As if things weren't getting complicated enough, one day when Megan is feeding the cats, she hears a screech of brakes, horns blaring, and then sees the crash as a car and a minivan plow into each other. The story comes to a suspenseful climax involving a hot-air balloon, Megan's abduction by Shane, followed by a daring escape, which she engineers. Megan's relationship with her little sister is particularly well-handled: Kehret captures the annoyance the older sibling feels towards Kylie, as well as the guilt Megan feels when she knows she's being mean to her sister. There are moments of compassion and empathy when Megan realizes that Kylie is a person with feelings, too. An absorbing and suspenseful novel with a strong female main character. (Fiction. 9-13)

ISBN: 0142300314
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Dutton