Review also includes:
Carried Away, 128pp, 978-0192719072
Harrison is a good storyteller. These two books are carefully constructed to appeal to an audience which wants a good, lively adventure story and isn’t too concerned about total plausibility. Both have a boy and a girl protagonist. In each case, while they work together to solve a mystery, there are tensions between them, giving an extra dimension to the novels and with better adult characterization, raising them above the ‘Famous Five’ tradition of junior detectives.
Facing the Dark concerns the attempts of Simon and Charley to discover who killed Charley’s father. Was it a road rage accident or something even more sinister? Told in the alternating voices of Simon and Charley, the seriousness of the crime and the initial feelings of hatred and embarrassment between Charley and Simon provide depth and focus.
In Carried Away Jess tricks Dan into doing various misdeeds. Dan’s seriousness and Jess’s seemingly amoral attitude are contrasted, but while it is an enjoyable enough read, Facing the Dark is a better book.