Phoning a Dead Man

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cross (Tightrope) wraps a haunting tale of spiritual rebirth in gripping, post-Soviet suspense. Devastated when her older brother, John, a demolition expert, is reported killed in an explosion in Siberia, Hayley agrees to accompany his wheelchair-bound fianc e, Annie, on a trip from England to the scene of the accident. As Hayley and Annie travel deeper into Siberia (in the company of gangsters and a mafia leader with his own deadly agenda), Annie discloses grounds for doubting John's death. Meanwhile, in the Siberian forest, simple-minded but kindly Frosya finds a wandering stranger amnesiac and ill and nurses him back to health. The nameless man's odyssey mirrors the life cycle and classic stages in moral and spiritual development. At first, the childlike Frosya spoonfeeds him, as if he were a baby, and teaches him to walk again; his next guides are a child, then an adolescent, and so forth until the introduction of a saintlike man who is willing to die for him. Appreciation of this novel doesn't require awareness of its allegorical underpinnings the plotting is tight, the foreign setting magnificently rendered and the characterizations intense. And those attuned to the inner narrative of resurrection and redemption can expect this book to resonate long after it is read. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Hayley can't believe her older brother John would have made such a horrible mistake and blown himself up at his job as a demolition expert. Even as her family mourns his passing, she begins wondering if they know the whole truth about what happened to him. When John's fiancée, Annie, decides to travel to Russia to see the place where he died, Hayley goes along to assist the wheelchair-bound young woman. As they follow his path across the vast country, the truth becomes more and more twisted. Could John really have gotten himself involved with the Russian mob? WAS he really dead? This is a fast-paced, suspenseful tale, which will keep the reader turning pages until the surprising conclusion. Some violence in the story may be upsetting to younger readers. 2002, Holiday House,
— Joanne Draper
VOYA
Trevor and Chris Cox are so distraught at the news of their son John's death that they burn all of his belongings in the backyard. John, working as a building demolition consultant in Siberia, reportedly has been killed in an explosion. John's teenaged sister, Hayley, cannot believe that her brother is gone—she even imagines that she sees him one day. Hayley's desire to view the place where her brother died is realized when John's girlfriend Annie, who is confined to a wheelchair, decides that they should travel to Russia together. After negotiations and planning, the young women arrive in Moscow. Annie and Hayley now must find a way to reach Siberia. Frank Walsh, the man who hired John to go to Russia, tries to discourage the trip. In Siberia, men who seem to be members of the Russian mafiya aid Annie and Hayley, as John's death takes on darker implications. While Annie and Hayley search for John's cell phone, which was answered when they dialed it, John, still alive but suffering from amnesia, struggles to discover who he is and why he is in Russia. Cross crafts a compelling, plot-driven mystery with plenty of action. Alternating chapters that follow Annie and Hayley and then John keep the story moving. Although the reader might want more background information about the characters, the intriguing chain of events should satisfy young adult mystery fans. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P J S (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2002, Holiday House, 256p,
— Rachelle Bilz
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Told that her older brother, a buildings demolition expert, has been killed in an accident in Russia, Hayley Cox accompanies his fianc e, Annie Glasgow, to see the sight firsthand. Not believing that she has been told the truth about the accident, Annie orchestrates the trip but needs Hayley to help her travel and maneuver in her wheelchair. Upon arriving in Russia, the young women are escorted by some influential Russian men that Annie suspects are involved in the Mafia, but she also realizes that she needs their resources to help them travel throughout the country. What Hayley and Annie don't know is that John is alive, with amnesia, in the wilderness of Siberia. He doesn't remember how he got there or why, but he knows that someone is out to kill him and that he must keep moving to avoid capture. As Hayley and Annie follow the lead provided by his mobile phone's satellite tracking system and head toward Siberia, John is traveling toward civilization searching for answers. In the end, after being captured by the Mafia, his memory returns to neatly tie up the loose ends of the story. The narrative, told in alternating chapters, moves along at a good pace. Filled with a variety of colorful characters and a suspenseful plot, it will keep even reluctant readers turning the pages.-Kim Carlson, Monticello High School, IA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823416851
  • Publisher: Demco Media
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1 AMER ED
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 610L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2008

    Pulse Accelerator

    This Book keeps you on the edge. It makes you wonder what will happen, it almost makes you want to skip to the end but its too interesting to miss the middle.It goes between what two characters experience. It's a very heartwarming, pulse accelerator that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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