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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
"Saturday, 1 September. Green Oaks: two hours outside the banks today. Nothing to note except short man walking about unaware of 4-foot length of toilet paper stuck to his shoe."
Kate Meaney, a precocious 10-year-old, is no ordinary sleuth. Notebook in hand, Kate is always on the lookout for suspicious characters and their dodgy doings. And when spunky little Kate disappears, suspicion is cast on an acquaintance of hers: 22-year-old Adrian Palmer. Though never officially charged, the shadow of doubt drives Adrian out of town, and the mystery of the missing Kate remains unsolved.
Twenty years later, Adrian's younger sister Lisa, who works at a music shop in a local mall, continues to receive the occasional missive from Adrian. And things continue apace until the image of a young girl appears on the mall's security camera. In short order, the weight of keeping secrets is too much to bear: Adrian returns to town, and a childhood friend of Kate's reveals a long-held clue to her last known hours.
Prepare to be tickled by Kate, but don't expect a wholesome detective story suitable for younger readers. For while the fate of the endearing Kate drives this tale, O'Flynn's narrative also exposes the dark underbelly of the British underclass. (Fall 2008 Selection)