Publisher: Doubleday Great Britain / Random House children's publishers UK
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Niall Leonard’s Crusher is about Finn Maguire – a 17 year old school drop-out, suffering from dyslexia, who works at a fast food restaurant, and is engaged in all reckless “teenage” activities. His step- father, an actor with no project in hand, is trying to redefine his career by writing a TV series about a London gangster. Finn’s life goes upside-down when one fine day he returns home from work and finds his step father in a pool of blood; cold, still and very much dead with his TV script missing from the house. Given no time to grieve over it, he becomes the prime suspect of the case due to his drug dealings in the past and is later arrested. However, with no legal evidence of any sorts, the cops are forced to release him. Finn then sets out to find out who killed his step father and why – who would hate his dad enough to give him death.
Danger becomes Finn’s companion, unleashing many hidden agendas, revelation of blood line and forgotten acquaintances. He encounters the notorious London underworld culture. Finn is on constantly tormented with issues of trust in this stage; dual meanings and connotations that lead to a paranoia in trusting people. At the need of this hour, his boxing training, from where he gets his nickname “Crusher”, comes into handy. The story takes edgy turns here on.
Finn has the strongest presence in this book along with other characters who add substance to the story. Niall crafts the journey of a lost teenage boy, in search of a mystery whereas Finn is a cold- emotionally detached teenage. Unlike other unfortunate-aggressive teenagers, Finn is brave, yet becomes devoid of emotions because of the brutal murder of his father.
All in all, the book is a spunky thriller for the readers. Its gritty nature gives a good deal of violence and roughness to it, and can be recommended to young adults to taste the thrills of a mysterious murder case.