Active Ingredients Suspense. Wisecracks. Chase scenes. Inner-city
pick-up basketball. Non-sequitirs. Action (incl. martial arts). School
break-ins. Axe-grinding cop. Vengeful bouncers. Back alleys. Hidden passages. Hidden meanings. A
dungeon. Gravestones. Heroes. Unquenchable evil. Historical atrocities.
book may induce rapid page-turning compulsion (RPC), commonly associated with
crackling writing and burning plots. RPC may result in strained wrists, ripped
pages, occasional accidental loss of grip on book causing said book to flop
like a plate of Jell-O onto floor (or nearby person's head). (Reader may decide white-knuckle story of 15-year old Mickey Bolitar, the boy with the recently dead dad, junkie
mom, and missing girlfriend whose whereabouts he’s determined to find, is worth
the strained wrists/ripped pages/projectile book arrangement). May cause reader
to sneak off when his family's backs are turned to escape into other, quieter
room to sit on comfy chair under reading light. Said sneak-reader behavior may
occur as early as Chapter 1 when Mickey, on his way to school, is pointed at by
legendary local creep/possible-witch-who-eats-children - a.k.a. the Bat Lady -
as she stands on her collapsing porch in her tattered white nightgown and
hisses in über-creepy mode, “Mickey? Your father isn't dead.”
May cause spontaneous outbursts sounding like: GASP! THIS
BOOK IS UNBELIEVABLE! WHAT?!?!
May cause sleeplessness/stubborn unwillingness to submit to
sleep until reader reaches teeth-shattering, whiz-bang story end.
May cause reader to believe he is being followed by a dark
car with tinted windows at all hours of day, night.
Common side-effects: Chills, tense neck, muscles
locked, lockjaw, bug eyes. Rapid breathing. No breathing. Reading
through fingers, (particularly when Mickey runs afoul of the owner of the seediest,
er, dancing establishment in Newark). Laughter, in response to antics of
Mickey's happy-go-lucky, non-sequitir-slinging buddy, Spoon. Cheers each time
Mickey’s best friend, the mysterious Goth girl Ema, saves his butt with verbal
ingenuity. Moral rage as plot thickens and evil surfaces ever closer (wearing
brass knuckles and snarling). Tunnel vision as reader is transported to 20th
century horrors. Sensation of weightlessness as 20th century horrors
and those who resisted, saved others from said horrors, effortlessly wend into missing
girlfriend/possibly living father mysteries. Extreme angst/potential tantrums
when reader reaches end and realizes he must wait TWO MONTHS UNTIL SEPTEMBER
FOR THE SEQUEL, Seconds Away.
Other information: Available as Audiobook CD.
Readalikes include: Reality Check by Peter Abrahams; The Boy
Who Dared by Susan Bartoletti; Payback Time by Carl Deuker; Last
Shot by John Feinstein.
Included on the D65 Summer Reading List.
(Jarrett, The Loft).