BOOKS PUBLISHED BY MIDDLEROAD
BY Dave Moores
Fifteen-year-old Lyle Prince is a cynical near-dropout with a terrible case of attitude. His mother can’t stand him, his father is in jail and he knows perfectly well that Laura, the girl of his dreams, will never give him a second look. Life in the struggling small town of Southmead is a burden relieved only by his wingman Garth, borderline autistic son of the town’s funeral director.
It’s dead of winter and an outbreak of weird stuff - random acts of vandalism and livestock going missing - is unsettling the citizens of Southmead. Lyle becomes involved, unintentionally, by foiling a holdup at the local corner store which he was all set to rob himself. Passing he door, Laura spots the commotion and calls for help. An improbable attraction kindles but Lyle’s good luck doesn’t last. Laura disappears and Lyle’s mom is implicated in the death of Hank Niles, the guy who’s kicking her out of the store she rents from him on Main Street.
Lyle can’t simply look away. Attitude and cynicism are forced to take a back seat. In the process, Lyle, Garth, and in due course Laura, abetted by local reporter Marigold Wallace, a feisty young woman of colour, face perils and challenges beyond anything they could have imagined in their crappy little town. Lyle learns to lead, Laura emerges as a warrior and Garth becomes the brains of the operation.
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