Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Tim Bowler

Age Range: 12 - 16

Pub Date: May 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-84573-1
Publisher: McElderry

From the chilling opening, when Emma, 13, is kidnapped, to the stormy conclusion, this ominous story will keep readers guessing. Her kidnapping stuns and bewilders Emma’s family; her 15-year-old brother Fin is guilt-ridden because he wasn’t at home and her three-year-old brother Sammy compulsively talks to invisible beings. Effectively told from the viewpoints of Emma, Fin, and Sammy, the motive of the teen kidnapper is slowly entwined with a dark family secret. Desperate to find Emma, Fin uses a dowsing book to create a pendulum with Emma’s gold ring and a strand of her gold hair that he holds over maps to locate her. Oddly, the pendulum only responds to Sammy’s touch, pointing to the deserted lighthouse on the verge of collapsing into the sea. Tension builds dramatically as the theme of climatic storms parallels the storms brewing within the family. Spanning just four days, the drama is packed with suspense elements: a spooky lighthouse, a child with ESP, ghosts, infidelity, blackmail, cracks in the family cement—Bowler has skillfully crafted them into a compelling story. (Fiction. 12-16)