By: Norah McClintock
Publisher: Darby Creek Publishing
Publication Date: April 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: April 2012
Robyn Hunter's two best friends, Morgan and Billy, were now an item. It was a surprising turn of events because when Billy asked Morgan out a while back, she claimed "There was no chemistry," and now the sparks were flying big time. Billy was "an animal-loving, tree-hugging, fur-eschewing vegan idealist," but she loved him anyway. Now they all found themselves picking up dead and dying birds in front of high rises for DARC, the Downtown Avian Rescue Club. Morgan and Billy's attraction for one another was a mystery, but then again so was Robyn's attraction for Nick D'Angelo.
Nick was the bad boy type and had anger issues, but it didn't matter to Robyn. On the other hand, it did to her mother. "I'm sorry, Robyn, but kids like Nick have so many issues to deal with." Her parents had their own issues and this weekend she'd be spending with her dad, Mac, a former cop who now owned a private security and investigation business. Dead birds were one thing, but the next day there was a lot to talk about. Someone had brazenly stolen her knapsack right out from under her and there had been a murder in Chinatown a few days before. Robyn's father loved to talk about stuff like that. And then there were the nineteen dead people in a shipping container.
No way was Robyn going to mention she'd been in Chinatown with Nick. "Anytime there are people who are that desperate, there are always other people who find a way to profit," her father declared. Yeah, snakeheads were well-known for human trafficking. There was something else unusual going down in Chinatown. When she went with Nick he was really acting strangely. He was surreptitiously collecting envelopes from people and in turn, they appeared to be staring at him in an unusual way. What was up with him? Did it have anything to do with that shipping container? Things would heat up fast when Nick was pushed in front of a car and later someone ominously said to Robyn, "Be quiet, please. I have a gun pointed at your friend." Something serious was going down in Chinatown and Robyn just could be dead before she solved the mystery!
Robyn is a modern day Nancy Drew, only the twist is that her mother is a lawyer instead of her father. She's cool, calm and collected as she peruses her environment, searching for clues to solving the mysterious goings-on in Chinatown. Her sorta-boyfriend Nick, a sixteen-year-old with a dark past and a jagged scar on his face, is somehow the perfect foil for her. I liked the hint of love in the air, the teen concern for environmental and human issues, but most of all liked Robyn, a gutsy young sleuth. If you're interested in a new mystery series, this is one you might want to add to your list!
Quill says: This is an exciting, intriguing mystery that Robyn Hunter fans will love.