18048998Before I get to the good stuff, let me tell you that Furious Jones has been miscast and misplaced.  Tim Kehoe has written a nice thriller but whoever stamped this for children ages 8-12 must have blacked out. When the book opens Furious Jones’s mother has already been murdered. By the time we reach page 70, three more murders have been added to the body count. Not the stuff you want a 3rd, 4th, or even a 5th grader absorbing. What bothered me the most is the MC was 12-years-old. He travels alone across the country, checks into a B&B, fights adults and big burly football players like this is normal. Yes, he is six foot four (They do come in that size every so often), but I just couldn’t get past the age issue. One final point – although Furious has traveled the world, he talks more like an older teen or adult (I’ve never heard a preteen use the word subtlety). Make Furious 15 or 16 and I’d have enjoyed the ride more. This is an upper middle grade book at best, and probably is more suited for a YA audience.


FULL PLOT (From Amazon): When his dad’s book turns out to contain deadly secrets, twelve-year-old Furious Jones is thrust into a web of mystery and danger in this gripping page-turner.

Furious Jones, the twelve-year-old son of a famous thriller writer, lives with his grandfather after his mother was mysteriously gunned down right in front of him a year ago. Curious to know more about his estranged dad, he goes to see him speak about his upcoming novel to a packed audience—and to his shock and horror, he witnesses his father get shot as well.

When Furious discovers that his dad’s upcoming novel contains dangerous and fiercely protected secrets, he sets out to discover who killed his father, and what exactly they were trying to cover up.

Ideal for fans of Alex Rider and Theodore Boone, the action-packed exploits of Furious Jones are as thrilling as they are intriguing. Can Furious unravel this literary mystery before the death toll rises?


  1. There are 66 short chapters, making the ever changing plot fly by. I’d sit down intending to read a chapter and twenty minutes later I’d read four or five.
  2. The various ways people are dying in the town of Galena, Illinois are rather sickening but at the same time very inventive. The killer makes each death look like an accident.
  3. Teens receive a good introduction to the thriller formula, which may interest them later in life to pursue adult thrillers. Chapters of his dad’s book are featured, too.
  4. Furious Jones has sequel written all over it, prodded by the most unlikely ending involving the CIA. Make the next book after Furious turns 16 and I’ll return for more.
  5. Shy kids will receive a few lessons how to talk (and not talk) to adults and girls. Furious is at ease talking with anyone. To the High School bully, “Let go or they’ll be picking pieces out of the pool filter for the next month.” or after just meeting two tenth grade girls, “Well, Susan and Baily, what are we going to cook for Thursday?”


What do you say when you discover your entire life was a lie – a lie that, apparently everyone else was in on except you?

Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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11 Responses to FURIOUS JONES AND THE ASSASSIN’S SECRET for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

  1. This sounds really different. I can’t remember seeing a thriller for MG. I like that genre so may check this out. Thanks.

  2. msyingling says:

    Great minds, Greg! I just read this over the weekend. I also have it scheduled for a future MMGM because while it was very gory, it’s EXACTLY what my bloodthirsty 6th graders want to read! The fact that Furious is a 7th grader adds that air of Alex Rider fantasy to the book. Hard for me to swallow, but students love it. I was sad to hear that Mr. Kehoe had passed away, so there won’t be a second book.

  3. Joanne Fritz says:

    You bring up a good point, Greg. This reminds me a lot of Alex Rider. And that can be a bit too violent and gory for younger middle grade too. Sounds like S&S should have made this 10 to 14.

  4. Thanks for the heads up on this book. I do like a good thriller, but would also have trouble with such a MC being 12. I may check it out though.

  5. warrchick says:

    Sounds like an incredibly gripping opening, even if not a perfect fit for the audience. And can you imagine going to meet your father for the first time under those circumstances? I’m already hooked. Thanks for the recommend, and happy reading!

  6. I’m intrigued. There are a couple of Alex Rider fans in my household, so this might be right up their alley!

  7. This is one I will check out. Thanks, Greg. Very sorry to hear about the author.

  8. Pingback: Do Dads Get a Fair Look in MG Books? | Always in the Middle

  9. Pingback: A Year of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! Are You Kidding? | Always in the Middle

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