Content: When the private investigators Delaney die in a mysterious car crash, their son Travis is left to live with his grandparents. He wants nothing more than to hide from the world but still there are some questions nagging at him. What case had his parents been working? Had it really been an accident? And most importantly, what has happened at 16:08?
What a dragon thinks: The German version of this book has been making moon-eyes at me from its shelf at work for over two weeks until I finally gave in and ordered the English original version. Kevin Brooks is a great author and his books are always well-researched and have good, rounded characters whom you can relate to. They are also rather realistic if you ask me. For example, Travis does not run off after who he thinks responsible for the ‘accident’ of his parents but stays at home for weeks, thinking, moving like a zombie which is, in my opinion, a normal response to losing their parents as a kid. Naturally, they might ask why or how but instant thoughts of raging revenge is the furthest from reality imaginable.
Despite everything, I didn’t particularly like Travis for no apparent reason. He was too … naive? slow? stupid? I’ll go with slow. When it mattered, he was the last to understand what was going on and was a bit annoying with his questions. But he is 13 so I understand that his look upon the world is a bit different than mine.
What I found a refreshing novelty was the complete absence of the trope that nobody believes Travis because he is a child and therefore must be telling lies. His grandfather does listen to him and also believes him but forbids him to do anything. Aaaaaand Travis, a great listener, goes after the bad guys himself. Or the good guys. Until the very end I absolutely had no idea whether the suits could be trusted or not. They seemed shady but friendly at the same time. One of the few things I particularly liked about the book.
Somehow the story seemed to evolve around Travis and he was just there at the right place at the right time. He seldom DID something other than ask random people loosely connected to the case questions about what they knew. He was just there and the story unfolded before him like a rose-petal covered path he only had to follow.
Courtney Lane deserves a paragraph of her own because Courtney is pretty cool and badass. She preferably dresses in quite revealing clothes which at first had me huffing and grumbling. Of course there would be a girl in miniskirt in this as my girlfriend calls them ‘manly man novel for manly men’. Sometimes I just need those like others need superficial romance books or fantasy books… Turns out, Courtney is damn smart and kicks some ass.
[…] a lot of people – especially men – tended to assume she was some kind of brainless bimbo, just a pretty face and a curvy body. And Courtney was quite often happy to let them think that.
‘If they think I’m dumb,’ she explained, ‘I’m already two steps ahead of them. By the time they find out I’m not so dumb, it’s already too late for them to do anything about it.’
The plot itself was OK, if nothing new or surprising. Parts two and three don’t interest me any more. It was a nice book to read on a Sunday afternoon but even the open ending couldn’t keep me hyped for the second instalment of the trilogy.
Favourite characters: Courtney, Evie
Conclusion: Nothing special, a book for young boys and girls who like to go adventuring without venturing too far into the crime-section where the gore and anxiety lurks. Unfortunately it was unable to truly convince me but I absolutely ADORED COURTNEY.
Details about the book:
- Author: Kevin Brooks
- Age: 12 and up
- Pages: 312
- Publishing House: Macmillan
- Jacket: Paperback
- ISBN: 978-1-4472-3896-6