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Latitude Zero
     

Latitude Zero

5.0 1
by Diana Renn
 

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When a bicycle racing champion dies suddenly, a teen sleuth travels to Ecuador to solve the mystery.

“I have to run,” said Juan Carlos. “You will call? Please? It is very important.”
“Yes. I will call. Definitely. At two.”
 
That’s what Tessa promises. But by two o’clock,

Overview

When a bicycle racing champion dies suddenly, a teen sleuth travels to Ecuador to solve the mystery.

“I have to run,” said Juan Carlos. “You will call? Please? It is very important.”
“Yes. I will call. Definitely. At two.”
 
That’s what Tessa promises. But by two o’clock, young Ecuadorian cycling superstar Juan Carlos is dead, and Tessa, one of the last people ever to speak to him, is left with nothing but questions. The media deems Juan Carlos’s death a tragic accident at a charity bike ride, but Tessa, an aspiring investigative journalist herself, knows that something more is going on. While she grapples with her own grief and guilt, she is being stalked by spies with an insidious connection to the dead cycling champion. Tessa’s pursuit of an explanation for Juan Carlos’s untimely death leads her from the quiet New England backwoods to bustling bike shops and ultimately to Ecuador itself, Juan Carlos’s homeland. As the ride grows bumpy, Tessa no longer knows who’s a suspect and who is an ally. The only thing she knows for sure is that she must uncover the truth of why Juan Carlos has died and race to find the real villain—before the trail goes cold.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/12/2014
Renn (Tokyo Heist) delves into the world of competitive cycling to produce this twisty thriller, starring Tessa Taylor, teenage host of the show KidVision, who is discredited and fired after she’s caught illicitly riding in a charity race. Her disgrace is overshadowed by the tragic death of biking sensation Juan Carlos during that same race, and Tessa is determined to get to the bottom of the incident. Her search takes her to Ecuador, where she’s embroiled in a deadly conspiracy undermining the cycling community and the rest of the sporting world. As Tessa learns just what’s so important that people will blackmail, cheat, smuggle and kill for, she also falls under the sway of a cunning mastermind. Renn steeps her story in thorough detail, bringing the cycling world and Ecuador to life with an air of verisimilitude. The story gets a little convoluted as it evolves from murder mystery to globe-trotting intrigue, with plenty of false leads and red herrings to keep readers guessing, but it satisfies and entertains. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kirby Kim, Janklow & Nesbit. (July)
Praise for LATITUDE ZERO
Praise for Latitude Zero:

“Twisty, inventive, and fast-paced suspense.”—Nancy Werlin, author of the Edgar Award winner The Killer’s Cousin

“Diana Renn spins a deadly web of danger, intrigue, and romance in this international cycling investigative thriller. Latitude Zero will lead you on a wild ride!”—Julie Berry, author of the Edgar Award nominee All the Truth That’s in Me

"The book’s premise is clever, and the Ecuadorian setting is unusual and nicely realized. Cycling and mystery fans will doubtless enjoy the ride."—Booklist

"A great deal of exciting action and tension that keep readers turning the pages."—Kirkus Reviews

"[A] twisty thriller . . . it evolves from murder mystery to globe-trotting intrigue, with plenty of false leads and red herrings to keep readers guessing."—Publishers Weekly

"This book fills a niche for people seeking mystery stories with strong female protagonists."—VOYA

From the Publisher
Praise for Latitude Zero:

“Twisty, inventive, and fast-paced suspense.”—Nancy Werlin, author of the Edgar Award winner The Killer’s Cousin

“Diana Renn spins a deadly web of danger, intrigue, and romance in this international cycling investigative thriller. Latitude Zero will lead you on a wild ride!”—Julie Berry, author of the Edgar Award nominee All the Truth That’s in Me

"The book’s premise is clever, and the Ecuadorian setting is unusual and nicely realized. Cycling and mystery fans will doubtless enjoy the ride."—Booklist

"A great deal of exciting action and tension that keep readers turning the pages."—Kirkus Reviews

"[A] twisty thriller . . . it evolves from murder mystery to globe-trotting intrigue, with plenty of false leads and red herrings to keep readers guessing."—Publishers Weekly

"This book fills a niche for people seeking mystery stories with strong female protagonists."—VOYAPraise for LATITUDE ZERO

VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Hailey Chappell
In Latitude Zero, the reader is taken on an exciting adventure to Ecuador, the middle of the world, with an extraordinary girl named Tessa. Recovering from a breakup and the death of someone she cared for, she must now deal with a series of mysterious messages aimed to destroy her. The only major flaw with the book is the Spanish vocabulary throughout it. Other than that, Latitude Zero is an amazing read. Reviewer: Hailey Chappell, Teen Reviewer; Ages 15 to 18.
VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Clio Byrne-Gudding
A gripping modern mystery, Latitude Zero features a dynamic female protagonist, who, in the face of murder, kidnapping, and gambling, retains fierce integrity. Even more striking, Renn has constructed a salient “Whodunit” totally upon the sport of professional bike racing, injecting the plot with adrenaline at every twist, and throwing the reader in tandem with the characters. Furthermore, this diverse array of talented teen characters makes Latitude Zero an inspiring read for the adolescent reader. Reviewer: Clio Byrne-Gudding, Teen Reviewer; Ages 15 to 18.
VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Jonathan Ryder
Tessa was a girl who had it all. As one of the hosts of KidVision, she was a local star with dreams of following in the footsteps of her idol, investigative journalist Bianca Slade. All of this comes crashing down around her when she and her boyfriend engage in a little “bandit riding,” riding in a charity bike race without actually raising any funds or even registering. During that race, Juan Carlos (a.k.a. “El Condor”), a rising star from Ecuador, is killed in an accident that is at least partially Tessa’s fault. Suddenly, Tessa finds herself caught in a web of mystery and intrigue that takes her from her comfortable New England existence all the way to the slums of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Can Tessa discover the identities of the mysterious people who are tracking her every move? How was El Condor involved, and was he really the squeaky clean hero everyone made him out to be? Lastly, can Tessa uncover the truth about El Condor’s last race, and will the cost of that truth be her family’s livelihood? The story is an attempt to re-imagine the Nancy Drew stories for a modern audience. The story itself is told exclusively from Tessa’s perspective, and allows the reader to follow along as she uncovers the truth behind the secrets. The narrative is generally well told, and does a good job of holding the reader’s attention, while at the same time relaying key information about bicycle racing. One serious flaw comes at the end, when the main antagonist succumbs to the “talking villain” syndrome often found in mystery fiction. In addition, some of the key points are fairly obvious, and astute readers will find themselves figuring it out long before Tessa and her friends do, and even questioning why she does not simply call the cops. The book deals with matters of friendship, romance, and crime. This book fills a niche for people seeking mystery stories with strong female protagonists, and thus would make a valuable addition to most high school libraries. Reviewer: Jonathan Ryder; Ages 15 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-04
A mystery involving bicycling culture set in greater Boston and Ecuador.Seventeen-year-old Tessa Taylor has been the perky host of the Boston-based cable TV show KidVision for four years. But when she gets caught "bandit riding" (riding without raising the necessary money) for a charity event, she loses her job. Worse, she thinks she's caused the death of star EcuaBar team cyclist Juan Carlos, who went down in the crash Tessa caused when she pulled out of the charity race abruptly. Thus begins a layered plot of murder and racketeering full of twists and turns. Author Renn knows her way around competitive cycling—the nuanced descriptions of the operation of bicycle-racing teams are spot-on. Where the story lurches, however, is in the barely credible decision-making of its narrator, Tessa. Tessa's rationale for not contacting the police when she is threatened ("[n]ot so simple") is not convincing, and too many of Tessa's decisions force readers to wonder whether she's just used to having her own way and not listening to others or if she is, in fact, clueless. To be sure, Tessa's bad decisions lead to a great deal of exciting action and tension that keep readers turning the pages, but the excitement doesn't outweigh the overall believability problems.Exciting, for readers who can get past the annoyingly persistent credibility issues. (Thriller. 13-17)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101629772
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
07/03/2014
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Latitude Zero

The two of them peered into the container, as if scanning the bikes.
“It’s good,” the guy muttered. “Let’s get out of here.”
Then they both jumped off the back of the container.
SLAM. The door closed.
SCREECH. The metal bar outside the door slid across the latch.
“Hey!” I shouted. “Let me out!”
CLICK. CLICK. CLICK. The tumblers in the padlocks turned.
I squeezed out of the tangle of bikes I’d wedged myself into, and made my way to that space by the doors. I banged on the doors. “I’m trapped in here! Let me out!” I cried.
Then I was thrown against the doors, as the truck went into reverse.

Meet the Author

Diana Renn grew up in Seattle and now lives in Boston. She has taught ESL and writing, most recently at Boston University. She has published numerous short stories and essays, and she is also the Fiction Editor at YARN (Young Adult Review Network), an award-winning online magazine featuring short-form writing for teens. She is the author of several ESL textbooks, as well as the YA mystery novels Latitude Zero and Tokyo Heist. She is an avid traveler.

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Latitude Zero 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
VeraciousRose More than 1 year ago
This fast-paced mystery gives us a behind-the-scenes look into the bike racing world. After the death of a well-loved teenage bike racer, Juan Carlos, we travel with main character Tessa from Boston to Ecuador to solve the mystery of his death. Diana Renn has a great eye for interesting research details and the gift of bringing setting to life. Latitude Zero is one of those rare books with equal appeal to both girls and boys. The plot is twisty and brilliant, I loved the character building, and even though I haven’t been on a bike for years, I was intrigued and learned some fascinating stuff. A great read with a lot of insight to offer, this book belongs in every public, middle and high school library.