Reconstruction

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Overview

When Jamie breaks into a nursery school with a gun and takes hostages, he is trying to find his lover, Miro, who is missing together with a large sum of money intended for reconstruction in Iraq.
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Overview

When Jamie breaks into a nursery school with a gun and takes hostages, he is trying to find his lover, Miro, who is missing together with a large sum of money intended for reconstruction in Iraq.
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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
Mick Herron never tells a suspense story in the expected way, which is why his new novel, Reconstruction, reads as much like a puzzle mystery as it does a thriller. When young Jaime Segura slips into the South Oxford Nursery School and waves a gun at the teacher, cleaning lady, parent and two little boys he takes hostage, unpleasant things are bound to happen, and they do—but not until Herron has finished surprising us.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Near the start of this masterful thriller from Herron (Why We Die), Jaime Segura, a young immigrant to Britain with a gun, takes several hostages one morning at the South Oxford Nursery School, including a teacher, the school's cleaner, parent Eliot Pedlar and Pedlar's three-year-old twin sons. Jaime is confused and afraid but he's not crazy, and what he wants becomes apparent very slowly. Though Secret Service agent Ben Whistler's usual beat is the MI6 accounting department, he's summoned to the nursery school after Jaime tells the surrounding police that Ben is the only one he'll talk to. Then there's the matter of the quarter of a billion pounds that's been stolen from the Service. How Herron is able to tie all these events together will test the sleuthing ability of even the most savvy readers as one surprise engenders another. The intricate plot, coupled with Herron's breezy writing style ("Ben Whistler looked like what you got when you thought about a rugby player, then fixed his teeth"), results in superior entertainment that makes most other novels of suspense appear dull and slow-witted by comparison. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal

Adult/High School -This contemporary British novel deals with terrorists, hostage taking, and characters who appear to keep changing allegiances. The story opens on a perfectly ordinary day in suburbia. Then the scene changes. An old man approaches a young man, but the young man hits him with his backpack and flees, while a car hits the old man. In the midst of this a gun is lost and then found, and by page 50 the young man has taken a father, his twin sons, and two nursery school employees as hostages. Scenes move from character to character, and with each shift readers learn a bit more about what's actually going on, who is responsible for what, and why individuals who think the world revolves around them are in for a rude awakening. Teens who aren't already Anglophiles may need to brush up on British slang and idioms to thoroughly understand all that happens, but the reward is good escape literature that should provide a few hours of diversion and entertainment.-Joanne Ligamari, Rio Linda School District, Sacramento, CA

Kirkus Reviews
Herron (Why We Die, 2006, etc.) works some nifty changes on the familiar story of a terrorist who takes refuge-and hostages-in a London preschool. Jaime Segura's day begins when he emerges from a rest-stop toilet to find a car with two armed men wanting a word with him. As he runs from them, one of them is struck by a passing car, and Jaime pauses long enough to take his pistol before disappearing. The next time he's seen, he's using the gun to encourage Eliot Pedlar to unlock the gate to his twin sons' preschool. This early in the day, before the staff and students have arrived, the only people waiting inside are Louise Kennedy, an assistant teacher with an unusual background in banking, and Judith Ainsworth, a cleaner and widow. Despite the vigilance of the young man with the gun, Louise manages to alert a security guard to contact the police, and the six ill-assorted souls sit and stew while they await further developments. Chief among these is the arrival of Ben Whistler, an accountant from the Soho office of MI6 whose presence Jaime has demanded. Herron's kaleidoscopic presentation makes it challenging to fit even the most basic pieces of the puzzle together, but eventually it becomes clear that Her Majesty's Government has recently lost £250 million to Miro Weiss, Jaime's vanished lover, and Bad Sam Chapman, among others at MI6, is convinced that Jaime knows where the thief and the money are. At least that's the official story. Taking a page from Jeffery Deaver, however, Herron makes sure nothing and no one is exactly what he, she or it seems to be, and every action that seems destined to clarify the situation ends up cutting two ways. Ingenious and heartfelt, though like Deaver,Herron is so eager to pile on the plot twists that he risks serious reader fatigue.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569475652
  • Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mick Herron is the author of five successful titles. Born in Newcastle upon Tyne and a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, he has a degree in English. A resident of Oxford, Mick works in London on future novels and writes book reviews.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This is a great one sitting suspense tale

    A desperate Jaime Segura holds a gun on several hostages at the South Oxford Nursery School. One of them teacher Louise Kenney thinks he looks no more than nineteen even with the weapon as she realizes her earlier Incident seems so minor. A parent Eliot Pedlar tries to calm down his three-year-old twins weeping Timmy and Gordon, but with little success as the ¿Gun¿ seems so menacing. Then there is the cleaner to round out the prisoners.--------------------- However Jaime may be a foreigner, but he is not a terrorist. In fact he is as frightened if not more so than those he retains. His lover Miro has vanished along with 250 million pounds stolen from the Secret Service money intended for Iraq. Meanwhile two agents tried to kidnap Jaime all he could think of was to escape before rendition. The police surround the school asking Jaime for his demands and to free the innocent. Jaime surprises everyone insisting he will talk only with M16 accountant Ben Whistler who worked with Miro in the office. Louise knows this will end badly for everyone inside the nursery school, but she assumes Jaime is the cause instead of those outside waiting to silence all those inside to insure there are no witnesses especially the teen with the gun.------------------ This is a great one sitting suspense tale filled with plausible yet stunning twists as nothing proves to be like it seems. Readers will feel they are claustrophobically locked inside with the hostages and the Gun while wondering who outside wants this to end tragically. Mick Herron provides an exhilarating taut thriller that will land on most short lists for one of the best of the year.----------------- Harriet Klausner

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