cover image Furious Jones and the Assassin’s Secret

Furious Jones and the Assassin’s Secret

Tim Kehoe. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4424-7337-9

In this exciting, rapid-fire mystery, Kehoe (the Vincent Shadow books) introduces the ludicrously named Furious Jones (“Man, I hated my name,” he thinks), whose father, a bestselling author of spy thrillers, is murdered before Furious’s eyes at an event for his new book. Furious goes on the run, hiding from the CIA and assassins alike, while he unravels his family’s secrets. It turns out that his mother was a killer for the government before her untimely death, his father was writing an exposé on a powerful criminal organization, and all clues lead to a small Ohio town. Twelve-year-old Furious goes undercover in high school (on top of being remarkably resourceful, he’s also 6’4”) to locate the one person who knows everything. Right from the start, Kehoe ratchets up the paranoiac tension and adrenaline, while keeping Furious’s successes at least vaguely realistic. While the book-within-a-book plot device doesn’t exactly read like Clancy or Grisham, this adventure works very well as an over-the-top thriller, one that leaves room for sequels. Ages 8–12. Agent: Sloan Harris, ICM. (Apr.)