Crusher (Crusher Series #1) by Niall Leonard, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Crusher (Crusher Series #1)

Crusher (Crusher Series #1)

3.5 2
by Niall Leonard

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The day Finn Maguire discovers his dad bludgeoned to death in a pool of blood, his dreary life is turned upside down. Prime suspect in his father’s murder, Finn must race against time to clear his name and find out who hated his dad enough to kill him.

Scouring the sordid, brutal London underworld for answers, exposing dark family secrets, and facing


The day Finn Maguire discovers his dad bludgeoned to death in a pool of blood, his dreary life is turned upside down. Prime suspect in his father’s murder, Finn must race against time to clear his name and find out who hated his dad enough to kill him.

Scouring the sordid, brutal London underworld for answers, exposing dark family secrets, and facing danger at every turn, Finn is about to learn that it’s the people you trust who can hit you the hardest. . .

Crusher is this year’s most talked-about debut thriller.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—After high-school dropout Finn Maguire comes home to find his starving-writer father (really his stepfather) bludgeoned to death at the dining room table, he makes it his mission to find the killer. Meanwhile, his lack of cooperation with authorities has some members of the police force pegging Finn as the suspect. Leonard introduces numerous characters as possible suspects, causing the story to take many twists and turns that leave readers guessing the identity of the murderer until the very end. Finn frequently finds himself engaged in battle with villains as he pursues leads into his father's death with a vengeance, carrying a feeling of suspense throughout the novel. Some of the British slang may throw American readers off, but overall the language discrepancies do not take away from the fast-paced story line.—Nicole Knott, Watertown High School, CT
Publishers Weekly
Irish-born screenwriter Leonard (husband of Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James) makes his YA debut with a hard-hitting adventure that plunges its hero into a bleak, crime-ridden London. Seventeen-year-old Finn Maguire's life is dismal—he's a dyslexic dropout with a criminal record, working at the seedy Max Snack restaurant. After his father, a washed-up actor-turned-screenwriter, is murdered and Finn becomes the primary suspect, he feels he has nothing to lose by hunting the killer himself. Convinced that local mob boss Joseph McGovern is to blame, Finn digs for evidence, even getting a job in one of his restaurants; when his life is threatened, he senses that he's on the right path. With both killers and police after him, Finn's only ally is the beautiful yet unpredictable Zoe. Leonard is clearly writing for the screen, with well-drawn action scenes, snappy patter, and a brand of noir undercoated with fast food grease. Last-minute revelations and a hasty conclusion diffuse some of the story's skillfully developed tension, but the thriller travels at a gripping pace, and has a thick-skinned, yet sympathetic protagonist at the head. Ages 14–up Agent: Valerie Hoskins Associates. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
An Edgar Award finalist for Best Young Adult Novel

" A hard-hitting adventure . . . travels at a gripping pace."—Publishers Weekly

"Many twists and turns that keep readers guessing."—School Library Journal

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Crusher Series , #1
Sold by:
Random House
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Niall Leonard is a drama and comedy screenwriter, born in Northern Ireland and living in West London with his wife, bestselling author E L James, and their two children. Among his many television credits, he has created episodes of Wire in the Blood, Silent Witness, Ballykissangel, and Hornblower. He has also lead seminars and workshops on screenwriting and script editing for the BBC, the Northern Ireland Film Council, and the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild, and has lectured on the creative process at the University of Reading. Crusher is Niall Leonard’s debut novel.

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Crusher 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
When I'm told to expect a thriller, I expect lots of action, suspense, and, well, thrills. The tone I got from this book was bland. It seems as though Finn is supposed to be a cool, analytical guy. He doesn't sure much emotion when he comes across grotesque scenes or kills a guy in self-defense, and he doesn't seem to have much feelings about his dad (official title: stepfather). Despite being a total amateur at sleuthing and the great dangers involved, Finn suddenly decides to find his dad's murderer. Yes, Finn rightly doesn't trust the officer in charge of the case of his dad's murder and decides to pursue the mystery himself, but I would have expected him to die while poking into the affairs of organized crime. If it weren't for his boxing training, other street smarts (of unidentified origin), and sheer luck, Finn would be dead. Finn's work is sloppy, the crime chase a disappointment. Rather than digging up clues, most of the time it seems as though Finn is just trying to make ends meet. It's purely coincidental that he's able to stumble upon crimes along his way to finding the identity of the ones behind his dad's murder. His work is sloppy, and I doubt people involved in real organized crime would be so careless as to left an amateur like him work his way into their midst. I must say. There were some pretty intense fight things; however, these were so descriptive and hard to follow that they ended up going over my head while other parts of the novel were so languid and slow-paced, seemingly going nowhere, that they bored me. Some of the things that Finn says doesn't add up either. First, he claims that he's the one who has been taking care of him and his dad, but he doesn't know what to do about finances. He doesn't show much emotion upon finding his dad's body, but then he thinks about him fondly in death. Sure, he might be in shock half the time with all the crazy things happening around him, but if he's as intelligent as he seems to be, his words ought to make sense. In addition, despite being the intelligent guy that he is, Finn uses his dyslexia as a crutch, blaming his inability to do well on it. His dyslexia only impairs his ability to read, not his ability to talk or think or act as a functioning member of society. If you've been following my reviews for a while, you'll know how I go on about characters. While many elements going into the making of a novel, characters are one of the most in contributing to my overall enjoyment of a novel. If I can't relate to them, I can't relate to the story. The characters in this book are poorly developed. Not only was I unable to get to know them on a personal level and develop sympathy for them, many of them make infrequent appearances. This wouldn't have bothered me so much except that when they do turn up again, they do something unexpected, something that doesn't match what we've been given of their characters thus far. I did get a pleasant surprise with where the plot took me. It wasn't as straightforward and languid as it seemed to be. In fact, I wouldn't have thought to connect some of the pieces together, and I certainly wasn't expecting the end to take me where it did. If the plot threads were better connected and the characters better developed, the writing more fluid, better detailed and less bland, this book might have been more interesting. This is what earned it that 2 star and made it an okay read. Is it a book that I would recommend, however? No. There are better YA crime/thrillers out there that I would recommend over this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago