"Fast-paced and edgy…Tell will satisfy any reader eager to solve a case…A clever, modern who-done-it. Highly Recommended."
"A beautifully written book. [The author] can definitely keep the reader attached and interested. A great read!"
Canadian Book Review Annual
NMRLS Youth Services Book Review
"The short length, quick pace and elements of mystery combine to make this thriller another Orca Sounding title that will appeal to many readers."
KLIATT - Sherri Forgash Ginsberg
In this elongated short story a lot is revealed and yet there is an abundance of information that is left untold. David's stepfather is murdered under suspicious circumstances and David becomes a credible suspect. He wasn't home that night and his alibi is weak and unsupportable. Even his own mother, who has untold secrets of her own, is suspicious of her only surviving son. Her other son drowned while in a boat with his stepfather on board. Again, the events are clouded by suspicious behavior. The author succinctly convey a complicated family relationship. She chooses her words thoughtfully and constructs a well-written, compelling story to be enjoyed by her YA audience, especially male readers.
VOYA - Teri S. Lesesne
The police come to David's home in the middle of the night with the news that his stepfather has been murdered. There are no suspects in custody, and the police seem much more interested in learning David's whereabouts for the night of his stepfather's murder. When the questioning begins, David asks that his mother leave the room so that he can tell the police all he knows about the night of the murder and about his stepfather's "tell," the way that David and others know when his stepfather was bluffing. Orca Soundings are high interest, low readability novels that pack a lot of action into a few pages. In addition to the fast pacing of the plots, there is generally a nice twist to a familiar story. Avid readers might find the stories too predictable; however, unmotivated readers will be surprised when the story takes an unexpected turn.
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
At 2:00 A.M., the police arrive at David's house with terrible news. His stepfather, Phil, was just murdered while taking money out at an ATM machine in town. David's mother is heartbroken, but the young teenager tries to piece together what he has observed about his stepfather that could have led to this tragic end. What caused Phil's untimely death? What clues does David discover posthumously, by reexamining details from Phil's life? What link do Phil's weekly poker games have to the plot of the story? As the book progresses, David reveals animosity toward his stepfather that leads the police to suspect the young man might have some involvement in Phil's death. The running theme of a poker game effectively adds to the suspense of this novel, which is guaranteed to be a page-turner for young adult readers. With suspense and carefully crafted detail, Norah McClintock weaves a haunting story that is a great addition to the Orca Soundings series.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up
In poker, a "tell" is a sign that someone is bluffing. It might be a twitch, a nervous cough, or a glance. David learned a lot about tells as he watched his stepfather play the game. Now the man has been murdered, and the teen lies when a policeman shows up on his doorstep asking questions. The police quickly focus in on him, and in convincing them of his innocence, David thinks back to his stepfather's tells and realizes some long-hidden truths about his family. Embedded in the mystery are two smaller puzzles involving the boy's brother and birth father. Unfortunately, David's questions about why this man disappeared from his life and where he is now are never explained, but they are not central to the plot. The main mystery is wrapped up so quickly and neatly that fans of the genre might be disappointed that it's over so soon. This short novel is aimed at teens with lower reading levels but it will also appeal to others. Overall, the quick pace and David's secret make this a good thriller.
Sadie MattoxCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Read an Excerpt
"He said they want to talk to you, David."
"They?" I said. "The cops?"
"What for?" I don't think I ever worked harder at getting just two words out of my mouth. I tried to sound like I had no idea what the cops would want with me.