Random House Australia Children’s
July 2, 2018
With her customary skill Fleur’s new novel launches into full-speed adrenaline-rushing action from the outset. Had it not been the end of term and my exhaustion levels peaking I would have binge-read it in one sitting!
Seventeen year old Beth Williams has lived all her life in the quiet rural town of Deni. She and her parents have a farm not far from the town and are an integral part of the community. While Beth often wishes her mum and dad were not so over-protective and even strict, she knows that they only want the best for her. She’s aware that a lot of her friends are pretty intimidated by her martial arts instructor father – ‘Bear’ by nickname and pretty much bear by nature but all in all the biggest worry she has is telling her folks that she has a boyfriend. Jonah is a fellow karate student in her dad’s gym and they are a perfect match.
Just as she is about to broach this delicate topic with her father he literally disappears before her eyes – abducted by some unknown people in a plain white van – and then all hell breaks loose. Beth and her mum Lucy are thrown into frightening but controlled response mode and Beth begins the discovery of her parents’ true identity – as well as her own. Now she realises the real purpose behind the family living on a farm with Beth learning many skills not usual for a teen – driving any kind of vehicle, handling weapons, survival tactics and strategy.
It’s a nightmare from which she is unsure they will emerge unscathed and indeed, it seems they will not – that is, not all. But if nothing else, she is her father’s daughter – in more ways than one – and she will not cower in the face of danger and threat.
The tension of the narrative is held superbly throughout with the characters well-drawn and arousing empathy despite some deadly past mistakes.
Highly recommended for readers from around 15 years upwards – some language may offend some institutions but is always completely in context in my opinion.