On their way back from school Luke, Bobby, and Ethan, three twelve-year-old boys, find a mobile phone lying in the park. The phone rings but no one speaks when they answer. Unnerved by a stranger who seems to be searching for the phone they scatter. Over the course of the following hours they discover who is seeking the phone and how far they will go to get it.
While Martin is writing a lighter story than The Stranger, both in feel and plot, the work has the same feeling of being set in a real and complex world.
I found it a difficult in places to engage with the main characters and their concerns; however the feeling of separation was very similar to my experience of reading other stories focussing on young protagonists so I feel this is due to my taste and not a defect in the writing. Indeed – unlike many authors writing about children investigating mysteries – Martin makes the reason they do not involve the police neither absurd nor contrived.
The story is written in a colloquial American English. While much of the dialect faded into the background very quickly a few phrases leapt out, especially Legos instead of LEGO®. Although this did not really damage my immersion it might impact those who prefer British English.
My only real problem with the book was the sub-plot involving Boone, a Golden Retriever Luke finds wandering at the start of the story. Throughout the story there is a feeling that Boone will be significant which does not really play out. Although the sub-plot does more than merely to add words I feel it would have worked equally well if the family had owned Boone for years.
I read this book in about an hour and felt the time was pleasantly spent. I would recommend it to people who enjoy Young Adult thrillers.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.