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Children's LiteratureThe tension is ratcheted up in this second book in the "Traces" series. This adventure is set in the wilds of a futuristic London, when the city has become literally part jungle. The action is more intense, as are the situations that Luke finds himself investigating. The consequences feel more vital and realistic set out in the 'real' world rather than at the boarding school of the prior episode. The young Forensic Investigator (FI) along with his robotic aide MALC have their work cut out for them, as they attempt to hunt a killer who may be part of an underground brown supremacist group. The presence of hate crimes and racism, combined with the urban setting and its heightened feeling of danger give this novel a gritty tone that was mostly missing from "Traces: Framed!". In addition, Luke has become even more the traditional hard-boiled detective in this novel, complete with bad jokes and a tendency for creative thinking. This title's likable hero and fast-paced action will hook most mystery readers instantly. Furthermore, the combination of Luke's entertaining antics and the unusual forensic details should help get even reluctant readers interested. 2005, Kingfisher Publications/Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 8 to 18.