Before 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.
PUBLICATION DATE:2014 NUMBER OF PAGES: 327
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?
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT FURIOUS JONES AND THE ASSASSIN’S SECRET
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.