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First Shot

First Shot

4.7 8
by Walter Sorrells

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David Crandall?s mother was murdered. With few clues, no witnesses, and no motive, the police were never able to solve the crime. Now, two years after the murder, David?s starting his senior year and struggling to get on with his life. But still, the doubt remains: could someone in his small town know something about his mother?s death? And when David uncovers


David Crandall?s mother was murdered. With few clues, no witnesses, and no motive, the police were never able to solve the crime. Now, two years after the murder, David?s starting his senior year and struggling to get on with his life. But still, the doubt remains: could someone in his small town know something about his mother?s death? And when David uncovers troubling clues that lead to a deep family secret, he starts to wonder if his mother?s death is tied to the scandal. Then one night, David spies his father burying an old rifle in a deserted lot near his house, and is left with one thought?is his own father the killer?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Captivating on several counts...a fast-paced intriguing read for genre fans. -Booklist, starred review
Children's Literature
Two things that Dave is certain of are that his mom was killed two years ago and that his dad does not seem to care. He never suspects that his dad could have killed her until he follows his dad one dark stormy night and watches as his father buries something that looks suspiciously like a rifle. Dave is still reluctant to admit to anyone that his father killed his mother, and it is not until next spring that Dave finally admits to the police in his hometown what he saw that night. The story, told through Dave’s first person account, twists and turns and spans several months and the events reveal lies and cover-ups of families that attended the private school that Dave’s father is headmaster at. Over the course of the novel, Dave is able to prove his father’s innocence and even manages to create a closer relationship with his father. While the story itself is intriguing, the novel ends without conclusively proving who kills Dave’s mother, which can leave the reader feeling a bit disappointed, but the colorful cast of characters make the novel an intriguing read nonetheless. Reviewer: Danielle Williams
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up- David Crandall feels useless. Though he comes from one of Maine's great families, he is convinced that he doesn't have what it takes to live up to its powerful longstanding reputation. His stern and demanding father is headmaster at The Arsenal, the prestigious academy the boy attends, and his life is a constant challenge. Between the fear that his father has murdered his mother, and the longing to earn top honors as the school's best target shooter, is a young man who struggles with feelings of inadequacy. With the arrival of Misty, a stunning new girl who is an even better shooter than he, he finds the strength to go beyond the surface of his beliefs to solve the dark mysteries surrounding his family. Their investigations into the murder put both of their lives in danger. Sorrells sets this modern story on a rocky spit in historic Maine and does a great job of capturing the feel of an elite military academy. As readers are taken through its austere halls and forbidden tunnels, the author unravels a fast-paced mystery that's sure to have wide appeal.-Caryl Soriano, New York Public Library

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
David Crandall thinks his father murdered his mother in this taut but rather trite boarding-school thriller. David is the scion of a famous family that has always dominated his excessively tough military school, at which his possibly criminal father serves as headmaster. An excellent shot, David dreams of winning the school's black-powder rifle-shooting contest. While simultaneously rebelling against Dad and investigating Mom's murder, David embroils himself and his friends in deep danger. Standard-issue characters include the love interest, Misty, a gorgeous girl shooter even better than David; Leo, his trailer-trash best friend; and the customary evil rich guy. Plenty of action leads to some indecisive results, as when David believes Leo has been killed but does nothing about it. Sorrells doesn't even solve the central mystery, leaving Mom's murder to speculation. Still, he packs in plenty of action for a fun read. Exciting but ultimately unsatisfying. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Captivating on several counts...a fast-paced intriguing read for genre fans. -Booklist, starred review

Meet the Author

Walter Sorrells, an Edgar Award-winning author, lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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First Shot 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Dan-Wong More than 1 year ago
This book has a lot of twists and turns and is a mystery waiting to be solved. This fast paced book intrigues the reader to solve what happened to David's mother. It was suspenseful and had an overall decent plot line. The frequent use of profanity in the book was a disappointment and the ending wasn't that impressive either. Other than that, the thriller of the book made me never put it down, and I had to finish it. This book is not hard to understand and is intended for young adults. If you want a book that keeps you guessing, then this is right for you.
Pete_Cano More than 1 year ago
First Shot by Walter Sorrells is a great book for anyone that finds them selves constantly getting sucked into any late night crime show. It has a lot of twists and turns that keep you wondering what will happen next. The book starts out describing the life of David Crandall, the son of the dean of Arsenal. Arsenal is an extremely strict military school. Soon after the beginning of the book the murder mystery begins. After an inconclusive investigation of David's mothers murder, David takes the investigation into his own hands, along with his friend Misty, they embark on a journey of a lifetime. The journey takes them to the brink of the destruction of the family after finding out that his family has been partaking in embezzlement. After discovering that secret David begins to question his father's alibi. This only gives him more motivation to solve the mystery of who's the killer on campus. After finding the killer David then goes on the quest to figure out his motive, but that might have just been a question best left unanswered. It just goes to show you that just because someone says it is over, it does not mean you have to give up. You can always keep going if you set your mind to it. Overall the book was great. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery. However the book does contain a lot of profanity. If you liked this book, I would highly recommend Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i liked it, it was a good book to read and want to read some more of Sorrells books....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mrdarcy3 More than 1 year ago
David's mom was murdered two years ago. And it's still an unsolved crime. The police suspect his father and David thinks it could be true. After a visit from the police, David finds his father sneaking out at night. He follows him where he watches his father bury something that significantly looks like a rifle. The school where David attends and where his father is headmaster has an old tradition of rifle shooting. In fact, it's the only thing that David is actually good at. But why would his father bury a rifle if it wasn't a) the rifle that killed his mother and b)he was the murderer. David knows one thing for sure: he's about the find out who murdered his mother if it kills him. A great action and psychological thriller with an interesting twist at the end. Perfect for readers who like their books to read like a movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
FIRST SHOT Sometimes the only thing you need in life is the truth. First Shot is a great example of this. Worm¿s mother was murdered more than two years ago, and he is starting to believe he found a suspect. That is his father. His father has been suspicious since the murder, and the other night, Worm saw his father burying a rifle. Could this be the murder weapon? Worm decides he will find the truth, at any cost. His friends Leo and Misty are determined to help. But he always has to deal with life at the super-tough private school, The Arsenal. With his father as the headmaster, he gets no special treatment. Worm has to deal with his father being the possible killer, his father being a super tough headmaster, and his father not picking him for the competition of First Shot. You thought your family was tough right? First Shot was an incredible book- I read the whole book in a day. It is not hard read, but it is a good one. I would not say it was a book for younger children, because of the language and some of the themes. I would say it is a perfect book for teenagers. The characters in the book are all very good. You learn more about them all through the book. There is Nolan, the incredibly smart man who is often prejudiced against because of his last name. There is Garret, the boy who may just have it worse than Worm. All the characters are very good. The end of the book is like a puzzle, and the chapters are just like the pieces.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How would you feel if your mom was murdered, and you didn¿t know who did it? First Shot, a story for mature readers, is about a boy named David Crandall who attends a private school. He is trying to find out who murdered his mother, while the biggest rifle competition of his life is coming up. Along the way the author 'Walter Sorrells' brings in a girl named Misty, who helps David with the mystery, and who he eventually falls in love with. This book would be great for readers, because Sorrells includes great description, and links you in on the characters emotions. The book First Shot is great read for mature young adults, because the characters are about the same age, which makes them easy to relate to. The author makes the book easy to understand for readers with the language he uses. One of the great features about this book is that the author shows great emotion in his writing. He lets you know exactly what the characters are thinking and feeling. He will also let the emotion build up until the great highpoints in the story. The author¿s great details reflect in his description of the environment the characters are in. You would feel as if you were there with David and Misty. The story is told through the eyes of David, which lets you look into his emotions. The book First Shot is an excellent choice of book, if you like it when you can get emotionally attached to the characters in the story. This would also be the best book to read for young adults who like mystery novels.