Dark Angel

David Klass, Author . FSG/Foster $17 (311p) ISBN 978-0-374-39950-4

When Jeff's older brother—a convicted murderer—is unexpectedly pardoned from his life sentence, he comes to live with his family in a small New Jersey town. Jeff is suspicious of his brother from the beginning, even though Troy seems like "a model of rehabilitation," acting overly polite to his parents and landing a job at a local supermarket. Jeff is afraid of what will happen when word spreads, too, and does not even tell his best friend about Troy's return. But when a local golden boy goes missing after fighting with Troy, the family secret gets out. Readers will find the premise fascinating, and will empathize immediately with Jeff, whose girlfriend's father forbids her to talk to him and whose own family is being torn apart by suspicion, pain and guilt (his mother is even hospitalized). Jeff tackles a school paper on evil and human behavior, and struggles with complicated emotions towards his brother (Troy likewise admits his pain at being abandoned in prison). The family drama gives way to a true murder mystery; this plot line gains momentum and culminates in a thrilling, if predictable, final face-off. Overall, this is a dark, gripping novel, even if it leaves some questions unanswered. Ages 12-up. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 01/09/2006
Release date: 10/01/2005
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 404 pages - 978-0-06-088700-1
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4668-0610-8
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