Safe Houseby James Heneghan
Northern Ireland. In 1999, one year after the Good Friday peace accord, sectarian violence still runs rampant in Belfast and the hatred between Protestant and Catholic runs deep. Liam O'Donnell's father is a peacemaker to the Catholic community. When twelve-year-old Liam's parents are brutally murdered in front of him, he is frozen in place. But when he sees the
Northern Ireland. In 1999, one year after the Good Friday peace accord, sectarian violence still runs rampant in Belfast and the hatred between Protestant and Catholic runs deep. Liam O'Donnell's father is a peacemaker to the Catholic community. When twelve-year-old Liam's parents are brutally murdered in front of him, he is frozen in place. But when he sees the face of one of the attackers, he is forced to run for his life. Escaping, he finds shelter with a neighboring family.
Taken to a police safe house, Liam is betrayed and forced to run again, from the very people who are supposed to be protecting him. Can he escape from his pursuer? Is there anywhere to turn for help?
A thrilling tale of suspense set against a background that is brought brilliantly to life, Safe House is a story told from the heart.
Gr 6 Up
In 1999, in Belfast, Liam Fogarty's parents are murdered by intruders. Because he gets a good look at one of the gunmen, the 12-year-old is also a target. He initially takes shelter at a friend's home. After narrowly escaping being shot through the window there, he is placed in a police safe house, only to have his location betrayed. Using his wits and his talents as a gymnast, Liam is able to outrun his pursuer and return to a semblance of normal life. Readers share the boy's loneliness through his flashbacks to his parents and thoughts of his recent involvement with an interdenominational Youth Circus (particularly his budding friendship with Nicole, a Protestant girl). There is plenty of action and a reasonable amount of tension, although experienced readers will quickly work out the identity of Liam's would-be assassin. Heneghan has tackled the highly charged and complex issue of the Troubles in Northern Ireland with a bias that smacks of naïveté. An appendix listing "dates that Liam memorized in school" immediately prompts the question, "and what dates did Nicole learn in school?" To do justice to the overwhelming issue of this conflict, a novel needs to be spot-on in tone and character. Safe House falls short of that goal.
Kara Schaff DeanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Read an Excerpt
They had him. He fell to the floor. The big man kicked him in the ribs.
"He saw me!" said the big man. "He saw me. I know he did."
The boy scrambled backward, petrified, his back against the wall.
The big man pointed his gun, his finger tightening on the trigger.
Meet the Author
A former fingerprint specialist with the Vancouver Police Department, James Heneghan has won numerous awards for his books for young readers, including the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Award three times for Flood, Wish Me Luck and The Grave. James lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia.
School visits, author readings, adults & children, by arrangement.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I found the book Safe House written by James Heneghan to be a page turning thriller. This book was one that I found personally hard to put down because of the action packed content that was very well written. This book started off at a climax and kept the readers attention throughout the entire novel. One thing that I personally enjoyed was the use of the Circus and the way that Heneghan uses it at the end of the novel to kill the murder. One thing that I found slightly confusing however is the time placements set in the novel. It is almost as if Liam would have flash backs to when he was younger. These were sporadic and made it personally hard at times to understand. I thought the author did a fantastic job however with the description. This book I would highly suggest reading!