The Dead Man in Indian Creek
  • Alternative view 1 of The Dead Man in Indian Creek
  • Alternative view 2 of The Dead Man in Indian Creek

The Dead Man in Indian Creek

4.3 52
by Mary Downing Hahn
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

Two boys make a grisly discovery

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Matt would like nothing more than to forget the corpse that he and his best friend Parker found in Indian Creek. But Parker is convinced that his mother's new boyfriend, Mr. Evans, has something to do with the dead man's death. Against his better judgment, Matt accompanies Parker on an investigation of Evans's antique store, where the boys unearth evidence that Evans is involved in a cocaine ring. But before the pair can report their findings to the police, gang members are hot on their trail. Thus begins a hair-raising chase that winds through the town's Halloween parade and finishes in the boys' secret hideout. Thanks to the help of a classmate and the dubious efforts of two bratty kid sisters, Parker and Matt outwit the villains and bring them to justice. A combination of crackling language and plenty of suspense, this fast-paced yarn is likely to appeal to even the most reluctant readers. Ages 9-13. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7 --Parker and Matt decide to camp out one last time before the weather turns too cold--and stumble upon a dead man. Parker swears he saw George Evans (his widowed mother's boyfriend and his least favorite person) at the scene of the crime. So begins a bumpy, peril-laden adventure. The boys spy out a cocaine ring in which Parker's mother and George are involved; a thug kidnaps everyone. Rescue comes when Parker's dog corners the thug and Matt's little sister pushes a doll carriage with a cocaine-packed doll through a Halloween parade into the police station. There's more than enough action, and Hahn's effortless mastery of kids' dialogue makes this an easy read. But there are illogical gaps: Why is Parker's mother, previously loving, so remote? How likely is it that 12-year-olds go camping alone? Why is it that Matt's flagging self-image shows little repair after such heroics? At the conclusion, when all of the drug traffickers are apprehended and Parker's mother is hospitalized and awaiting charges, Matt assures Parker: ``Whatever happens, my mom says you're staying with us.'' Readers will find this less than reassuring. With the abundance of good juvenile who-done-its available, this one is dead in the water. --Carolyn Noah, Worcester Public Library, MA
From the Publisher

"Good, well-constructed entertainment." —Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547248806
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
11/16/2009
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
130
Sales rank:
1,137,914
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

If Parker Pattengill hadn't wanted to go camping, we never would have found the dead man in Indian Creek, and, believe me, we would have been a whole lot better off. But isn't that the way it always is? You look back on some little decision you made and realize all the things that happened because of it, and you think to yourself "if only I'd known," but, of course, you couldn't have known.

Anyway, there Parker and I were, sitting on my back porch one Saturday afternoon, enjoying the sunshine as we watched the leaves slowly fall through the quiet October air. It was Indian summer, and the day was so warm and lazy I could have sat there forever.

But not Parker. Lately he'd been edgy and restless, always wanting to go somewhere, meet somebody, do something. If we stayed in the same place for more than five minutes, he'd start drumming his fingers on tabletops or tapping his foot or biting his fingernails.

Nervous energy, my mother called it, but he wore me out.

"Hey, you know what we should do?" he said.

"Nothing," I said, and I meant it. I was perfectly content just feeling the sun warm my back and smelling something that might be brownies baking in the oven.

"No, seriously, Armentrout." Parker poked me in the arm, just hard enough to hurt. Since we started junior high school, he's been calling me by my last name; I guess he thinks it sounds cool and sophisticated, but it kind of gives me a pain. I mean I've been answering to Matt or Matthew all my life, but now all of a sudden it's Armentrout this and Armentrout that, and it takes getting used to.

"Let's camp out tonight," Parker went on. "This might be thelast good weekend."

His straight blond hair was hanging in his eyes, his bony knees were poking out of the holes in his jeans, and he had the eager look on his face he always gets when he's excited about something. I often see the same expression on his dog Otis's face when he's begging for a walk.

"Where do you want to go?" I asked, unable to fuse the slightest bit of enthusiasm into my voice.

"How about Indian Creek? It's still warm enough for swimming, and we could fish in the morning. We might even see that blue heron again." He gave me another little punch. "Come on, what do you say?"

Well, I wasn't really in the mood to pack up my camping gear and ride my bike eight miles out of town and who knows how far down the creek. But no matter what I said, Parker kept insisting, and finally I gave in. He was, as my parents often pointed out, a natural-born leader, and I was a natural-born follower.

I went into the house to tell my mother about Parker's and my plans, but she was too busy making a bunch of little bread-dough Christmas tree ornaments to pay me much attention. She only had a couple of weeks to get ready for the Woodcroft Fall Festival, and she was counting on her sales to bring in extra money for Christmas shopping.

What I'd thought were brownies baking in the oven were more ornaments, so I took a handful of cookies out of a box and poured glasses of milk for Parker and me. After a while, I cleared my throat and said,"Mom, Parker and I are camping out at Indian Creek. Okay? "

She looked up from the bread dough and frowned. "Overnight, Matthew?"

I knew what Mom was thinking. She always worries I'll get into trouble under Parker's influence. According to her, his mother, Pam, doesn't keep a close enough eye on him. It's true that Parker spends a lot of time alone, but it isn't his mother's fault. His father was killed in a car crash when Parker was a baby, and she has to work. So what if she goes out at night and

leaves Parker home by himself once in a while? No matter what Mom thinks, Parker doesn't take advantage of it.

"We want to go one more time," I said, "while it's still so nice and warm and all." I munched a cookie and waited for Mom to answer. I was kind of hoping she'd say no and save me all the trouble of getting the tent, an old K-mart special, out of the attic.

But you know how parents are -- if I'd been dying to go, she would have said no, but since I wasn't all that hot on it, she said yes.

Then she had to add, "The exercise, would do you good."

That made Parker laugh. For some reason, he and I are developing at very different rates. A year or two ago, we were about the same size, but now that we're twelve, Parker is getting taller and leaner every day, and I seem to be staying the same height but getting rounder. I've even developed this awful little spare tire around my waist like a middle-aged man, and I sure didn't appreciate Mom's drawing Parker's attention to it.

Leaving Parker with Mom, I got the tent out of the attic. Then I threw some stuff in my backpack. On my way to the kitchen, I had the bad luck to pass my little sister Charity in the hall. If ever a kid was misnamed, Charity was. At the sight of me, she and her friend Tiffany started cackling like chickens in a barn.

"Fatty, fatty two by four," they chanted. "Can't get through the kitchen door!"

I paused and glared down at her. Should I care what a couple of six-year-old twits said? "Stupid," I muttered.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Good, well-constructed entertainment." Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

Mary Downing Hahn is the best-selling author of more than twenty award-winning books for young readers, including Stepping on the Cracks, which won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Anna on the Farm is the follow-up to Anna All Year Round, both based on the author’s mother’s memoirs about growing up in Maryland pre-World War I.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Dead Man in Indian Creek 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is AWESOME!!!!!!!!! My friend recommended it to me and im so glad she did! I wouldn't recommend it to 8 or younger because it has a few inapropriate words and actions in it though. Have fun reading it
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Parker and Matt decide to camp out one last time before the weather turns too cold - and stumble upon a dead man. Parker swears he saw George Evans (his widowed mother's boyfriend and his least favorite person) at the scene of the crime. This starts a wild, crazy, and somewhat scary adventure. Oh wow, this was action from the start! I enjoyed reading THE DEAD MAN IN INDIAN CREEK, and while it was supposed to be a big serious ordeal the boys find themselves in, it was also hilarious at times the fixes they got into along the way! A quick mystery for reluctant readers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a really good book. this is a book that you won't waste your time reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing it has so much mystery and suspense you have to read this it is great the characters are interesting and easy to relate 2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book.. so awesome... Iove Jennifer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mary downing haun has made yet another great book and is not afraid to show it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very dramatic therefor one of the best ones i have read!!!!
ka67 More than 1 year ago
It is preety much a classic 2 boys against a bad guy with a 'Romancitc' twist,modern day problems,and mixed up crushes. A total must read!!
ReviewerRachel More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a fun, short, spooky read. It has drug abuse mentioned, and a small mention of underage drinking, but it isn't a main feature, it's talking about this remote area of the forest. I liked this book, it wasn't bone chilling creepy, but it was a good (and a little humorous) story on Halloween.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Dead Man in Indian Creek is a mystery about two boys named Parker and Mathew. One summer day the two boys decide to go camping at Indian creek. Parker decides to wake up early and go look for birds. But instead of finding a bird they find the dead man and they know he has been murdered because of the bullet hole in his head. They quickly run to the police and report it. Mathew¿s Parents are very worried and Mathew would like to just let it go and forget about the whole murder. But Parker will not hear it. He wants to find out who killed the man and why. But soon Parker is way over his head. Read more to find out the whole story. I really like this book because even after the mystery is partially revealed the book is still interesting. And also at the end of the book it gets very action packed. I also like this book because the plot is really believable and the characters are believable too. If I had to rate this book I would rate it five out of five stars because it is very interesting and fun to read. By Ben.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Dead Man In Indian Creek was a great book because it really could have happened. Parker and his friend set off for a camping trip to Indian Creek. When they¿re there some mysterious twists happen and they find a dead man. At the same moment Parker sees his mom¿s his boyfriend whom he does not like. So he blames him. But things might not turn out like they seem. Opinion I thought this was a great book because it starts you off knowing who did the crime and you¿re sure of it. But different twists and turns get you thinking about it a little bit. If I could rate this book with stars I would rate it five stars, two thumbs up. Also liked that this book¿s real action happened on Halloween night. It probably wasn¿t the most fun Halloween for Parker and his friend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It thought it was a really good book. I picked this book because I am a fan of the author, Mary Downing Hahn. I think this book is great for all ages. I couldn't put it down! I cant wait to read more of her books!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mary Downing Hahn could not have written this book better. It was realistic fantasy that gave my night mears. I thought it was fantastic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really makes you keep reading on and on, because you want to find out what will happen next. I think that it has a good plot, because it relates to real life situations. There is a boy named Parker, who is trying really hard to get his mother's boyfriend in trouble for killing a guy. But Parker isn't for sure but is trying really hard to find out. His friend Matt is also helping figure out who kiled the man in the creek.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love her book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very intresting a very exxiting book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very good it is a good book for mystery lovers. Mary has done it again!!! A good mystery book that will keep you on your toes to keep reading!!!!!!!;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it is the best book for kids who like mystery books. The author of the book Mar Downing Hahn writes the best books in my prospective. JENNA GROVER
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As if you could mary downing hawn has done it again with here shocking books and upcoming suprises.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I looked at this and it caught my eye my sister megan bought it and we raced to see who could read it first i read it in one day and it was really good. Marry Downing Hahn is my favorite author because she writes intense and scary and good books. There is another book that i read that is by Mary Downing Hahn and it is called following the mystery man. That took me 2 days to read and it was so good. Thanks for writing these books for us Mary Downing Hahn!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice joke number two really funny it caught my eye when i looked at the title but i didn't think it was real 5 stars on that joke
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was sooooo great, I could barely put it down with all of the suspense and mystery. There are so many mysteries throughout each and every chapter. I love the main characters' personalities. It helps you understand who they are and what are like. It's just a must read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One person said thisbook is horrible because of a few adultl