Sixteen-year-old Nick Macklin’s life has been divided in two. Before and After. Before his father went to jail, and After.
Before, he was a talented hockey player, an A student, in love with his girlfriend, Sherry, and had the greatest dad in the world, a man who not only was there for him after his mom died of cancer, but who was also a star player for the Vancouver Canucks.
Then the bottom fell out. His father was convicted of murder and given a life sentence for a crime Nick is convinced he didn’t commit.
Now living with his dad’s agent, the only thing that keeps Nick going is a burning desire to seek justice for his father. Who framed him? And why? Drifting away from everything and everyone who matters, Nick spends his days roaming the city, looking for the bald man with a limp who is the key to answering these questions: the man his father swears planted the evidence that led to his conviction.
Finding him is like looking for a needle in a haystack – until Nick stumbles on a very real clue, an eye-opening revelation that just might save his father… and himself.
This was a very masculine story that had a surprising amount of emotion to it. With both strong hockey and mystery elements, this book will appeal to many guys, and yet it has enough emotional story hidden inside to satisfy most girls.
Nick spends his time trying to deal with the tragedy of his dad being convicted of murder, even though he is certain his dad is innocent. Nick goes through many ups and downs, and seems almost to be grieving at time. It is quite interesting and sad to see everything that he does, or doesn’t do, while trying to figure out how to live in his new reality.
Regarding the mystery-solving plot, it was both intriguing and realistic feeling. Nothing seemed to go smoothly. Nick had realistic setbacks, and surprising achievements, just like in real life. Even when things started to come together, there were still hiccups and surprises. It made for exciting reading.
Nick is a very likable character. It was easy to feel sorry for him, and want him to succeed and prove his dad’s innocence. He is the type of character that you want to have a happy ending, because he truly deserves it.
Overall, this is am amazing book that should appear on the Christmas tree for many teenaged males this year. And will quietly stolen and read by sisters and girlfriends. It has wide appeal and is a great read.
Challenges read for:
The Canadian Book Challenge 6