Deep in the London underground, a train shudders across an unseen body. Days later, on the bleakness of Dartmoor, Max Gordon learns of a fellow student's death in the capital. Danny Maguire was carrying an envelope with Max's name on it—containing the secret of Max's mother's death. The clues take Max into the endangered rainforest of Central America where, hunted down by a ruthless killer, he must also escape the jaws of deadly crocodiles and flesh-eating piranhas. The truth Max is desperately trying to uncover ...
Deep in the London underground, a train shudders across an unseen body. Days later, on the bleakness of Dartmoor, Max Gordon learns of a fellow student's death in the capital. Danny Maguire was carrying an envelope with Max's name on it—containing the secret of Max's mother's death. The clues take Max into the endangered rainforest of Central America where, hunted down by a ruthless killer, he must also escape the jaws of deadly crocodiles and flesh-eating piranhas. The truth Max is desperately trying to uncover lies deep within the dangerous forest's heart . . . if only he can stay alive to reach it.
The third & final novel in David Gilman's supercharged sophisticated adventure series, perfect for fans of Anthony Horowitz, James Patterson, and the Jason Bourne movies.
Max Gordon dares to investigate the mysterious death of his mother, an environmentalist, in Central America. He wants to prove that his father had not abandoned her to die in this third "Danger Zone" series book. Max receives a khipu, a Mayan device used to convey information cryptically. He convinces his best friend, Sayid Khalif, to help outwit Dartmoor High headmaster Fergus Jackson so Max can leave campus to explore the clue. The teens utilize their computer prowess to enter forbidden areas, procure travel documents, communicate clandestinely, and access security camera footage. Flying to Miami, Florida, Max rescues a boy, Xavier, who is affiliated with drug traffickers. They transport Max across the Gulf of Mexico to the Central America rain forest where Max fearlessly evades people tracking him, such as MI5 agent Charlie Morgan who is trying to find Max before the assassin Riga kills him. Orchid thief Orsino Flint warns Max regarding dangerous natives, relentless mercenaries, and greedy criminals he will encounter deeper in the jungle. The exotic landscape, filled with brutal heat, deadly wildlife, and poisonous foliage, is both Max's friend and foe. Max bravely navigates his way through obstacles including a cave populated with vampire bats. Captured by Mayans, Max is forced to compete in a cruel game which catapults him to a chilling conclusion. The narrative incorporates mythic references and ancient imagery emphasizing the Mayan culture in which Max is immersed. Swift pacing and cliffhangers connecting most chapters enhance this adventure's adrenaline-churning appeal to readers who will feel as if they are rushing alongside Max. Read with Roland Smith's Jaguar (1997) and Aileen Kilgore Henderson's The Monkey Thief (1997). Reviewer: Elizabeth D. Schafer
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—Fans of The Devil's Breath (2008) and Ice Claw (2010, both Delacorte) will welcome the third installment in this British import. Max Gordon, 15, sends out a cryptic request for information about his mother's recent death in Central America. A former student from Max's boarding school responds but is killed before the two can meet. While Danny's death is initially ruled a suicide, the appearance of an ominous-looking agent raises Max's suspicions. Unsure why the death of his environmental scientist mother should be shrouded in such secrecy, he slips away from Dartmoor High to learn more. Meanwhile, MI5 wants to find out why Riga, an international hit man, has Max in his sights, and they send one of their operatives to get to the teen before the killer does. As he travels to London and then to the U.S., Max manages to elude his pursuers with enough inventiveness and narrow escapes to leave readers breathless. In Florida, he tangles with drug smugglers and finds himself heading for Central America in their speedboat, with the Coast Guard now adding to the chase. Once Max has reached the area where his mother died, he must avoid not only the various groups who are after him, but also the predators of the jungle. Max is an engaging and fully developed protagonist whose ambivalent relationship with his father adds extra depth. This title has enough backstory to fill in the gaps for newcomers to the series, and plenty of nonstop action to satisfy adventure aficionados who have exhausted all of Anthony Horowitz's "Alex Rider" titles (Philomel).—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
The third installment in the adventures of British teen Max Gordon, who continues his quest to learn more about his family's past. Continuing the non-stop action from Devil's Breath (2008) and Ice Claw (2010), Max slips away from Dartmoor High School (with a little help from his friend Sayid) only slightly ahead of a corporate hit team. Why? Another friend has sent him a message, just before collapsing on the rails of London's Underground. Max is able to decipher enough of the message to know that the answer to his mother's death--and his father's mental collapse--lies in the jungles of Central America. An agent from MI5 is hot on his trail, hoping to help, but Max is on the run from drug smugglers, plant thieves, the U.S. Coast Guard and a dedicated assassin who won't quit, no matter what. Add in the threat of poisonous insects, giant snakes and murderous Mayan priests, and the challenges have never been higher for our dauntless hero. Max Gordon is a likable character who faces tough challenges with determination, physical strength and a positive attitude (and perhaps a little magic), and he's developed as well as his essentially James Bond–esque character will allow. While not as believable or as enjoyable as Max's last adventure, this is still a solid read from start to breathless finish. (Thriller. 11-15)
For the last nine years DAVID GILMAN has been principal writer on the UK television show, A Touch of Frost. David has worked as a firefighter, professional photographer, and marketing manager, and has travelled the world, gathering inspiration for The Danger Zone series along the way.