cover image Shadowmaker


Joan Lowery Nixon. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, $15.95 (197pp) ISBN 978-0-385-32030-6

Katie and her mom have come to Kluney, Tex., to escape trouble for a while, but trouble seems to be lurking around every corner. In her career as an investigative reporter, Katie's mom has run afoul of those who don't appreciate her efforts to bring to light the illegal dumping of certain toxic wastes, and now Katie, missing her city friends and ballet lessons, unwillingly finds herself involved in a puzzle of her own--the disappearance of the only girl to have befriended her. In her usual taut, thrillingly grim style, Nixon merges mystery with moral outrage and stand-taking; she develops parallel mother-daughter investigations deftly, allowing the mysteries to intersect momentarily and then dart off on separate paths. Strong female characters deliver a mandate to question authority and to adhere to personal convictions, even in the face of threats and ridicule. Affecting and fast-paced, this mystery delivers just the right amount of shivers to satisfy without eclipsing its message. Ages 12-up. (May)