12 September 2012
Series: No, standalone
UK Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers
UK Release date: 13th September 2012
Genre: YA Crime thriller
Kindly given by the publisher for an honest review
To catch a killer, Finn Maguire may have to become one....
Everything changed the day Finn found his father in a pool of blood, bludgeoned to death. His dull, dreary life is turned upside downas he become's the prime suspect. How can he clear his name and find out who hated his dad enough to kill him?
Facing danger at every turn, uncovering dark family secrets and braving the seedy London underworld, Finn is about to discover that only the people you trust can really hurt you...
Crime isn't usually my genre of choice, and whilst I didn't necessarily like the violence in this story, the young protagonist Finn made the story for me.
Finn has had more than his fair share of bad luck and rough patches in his life, what with his mother leaving him and his dyslexia. He's had to help his dad pay the bills and fell into petty crime in the past. Now his father is dead and there is no-one to help or look out for him. I instantly liked his no bull attitude, and ability to pick himself up and carry on. He was absolutely determined, no matter what the cost, to find out who killed his dad. Even if it meant getting himself into a whole heap of trouble and giving the police a bit of smart-assed lip. Finn had no fear and it was his reckless behaviour and outspokenness that made the story. I did feel a little sorry for him, because his step-dad had been the best thing in his life and suddenly he had no-one. But Finn isn't really the kind of person you can feel sorry for. He doesn't mope around or want sympathy; he's a born survivor.
I was expecting the plot to be really fast paced and action packed, but to start it wasn't. Although the book spans roughly a week of Finn's life, in which his questions get him the wrong kind of attention, the plot didn't have much sense of urgency. It was only towards the end when Finn was in some serious and violent trouble that the action became nerve wracking and scarily intense. I did however find the mystery of who killed his father compelling. With so many suspects and different leads coming out of the woodwork, the 'whodunnit' element kept me reading as much as Finn's bravado and outlandish behaviour. I enjoyed the twists and changes from one subplot to another, although there were some rather convenient 'coincidences' that helped move the plot along. I didn't see the ending coming at all and enjoyed seeing where it ended up.
As you may or may not know, Niall Leonard is the other half of E.L. James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey. Although I'm not really fussed on who's who or the hype around a book, and even though Crusher isn't normally my kind of book, Leonard has made a very promising start as a writer and will be worth keeping an eye on.
Crusher is a gritty crime thriller with spells of violence and swearing; with a protagonist with no fear and a crime overload that had me seriously scared.