Review Blog

Apr 20 2009

Into the dark by Peter Abrahams

cover image

Walker, 2008.
(Age 10 -13) The third book in the Echo Falls Mystery series, featuring 13 year old sleuth, Ingrid Levin-Hill, Into the dark is a fast paced mystery with enough clues and red herrings strewn about to keep the reader interested in solving the mystery. While snowshoeing with her friend Joey Strade, the couple stumbles on a body lying in the snow. Ingrid is appalled when she hears that her grandfather has been accused of the murder and is about to put in a plea for manslaughter. Why would he do that? Ingrid is convinced that Grampy is innocent. He is a war hero and she knows he would never shoot someone in the back. Evidence piles up and as Ingrid sorts through it, she discovers some dark secrets about people in Echo Falls.
Able to be read as a stand-alone, there is plenty of suspense in this story. The astute reader will probably be able to work out who dunnit as there are certainly enough pointers in that direction, but the additional mystery of what Grampy did in the war and the traumas about to hit Ingrid's family add further interest and depth to the story. Other features are the allusions to Sherlock Holmes and the often-humorous episodes while Ingrid is rehearsing for the play Hansel and Gretel at the local theatre.
Ingrid is an intrepid girl, who faces some frightening situations in her quest to save her grandfather, a grumpy old man. She discovers that bravery is sometimes just making an effort to control fear and she certainly has to learn to do that as she gathers evidence to try and prove that Grampy wasn't around at the time of the murder.
Abrahams is an Edgar Award nominated author, and he sets up an engrossing mystery which would be very useful as an introduction to the genre.
Pat Pledger

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