Crusher by Niall Leonard


Niall Leonard
Random House, 2012
ISBN: 9780385743549
FORMAT: Realistic, Mystery, Action
AGES: Young Adult
3 Stars

I read this book as part of the 2013 YALSA The Hub Reading Challenge. So far for the challenge I have read:

13. Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
12. The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, and Nate Powell
11. Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
10. Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert
9. Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm
8. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
6. Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
5. We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson
4. Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
3. Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal
2. Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
1. Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose

Finn Maguire is a high-school drop out and works at a horrid job. Even though he doesn’t know quite what he wants to do with his life, he does know that he doesn’t like being pushed around or taken advantage of. When he comes home from work one day to find that his step-dad has been murdered, his life explodes in a confusion of suspicion, dread, and danger. The police don’t really think Finn is innocent, so Finn has to figure out the case all by himself. As he works to discover what happened, he becomes entangled with gangsters, paid assassins, and girls. The only trouble is he isn’t quite sure how to handle them all. And he really would like to get to the bottom of the mystery while he is still alive.

This is a fast-paced plot with loads of characterization and intrigue. I enjoyed delving layer after layer into the mystery to figure out what happened. I didn’t like the cussing and descriptions of blood, guts and glory. I know that the cussing is part of Finn’s character and it totally works for him. I don’t know that I would believe he is the type of person he is without a little cursing. However, I am not the type of reader that loves it. So, it didn’t work so well for me. Also, the same thing goes with the murders and the blood. (And the two near-deaths Finn had at the end of the book–those almost really got to me cringing.) I just am a bit squeamish when it comes to that type of thing. But then again, I had to shudder my way through Lord Loss as well, and this book was easier for me to swallow in terms of gore than that book.

I liked the book overall. I know what type of readers I would recommend it and book talk it to. I just also know that this book was at the peak of my tolerence level when it comes to the two before mentioned factors. Great book. Totally loved the twist at the end. I did see it coming, but not until it was so close it still surprised me. Great plot and characters, ones that are so memorable you will wonder why it really didn’t happen and why the whole lot of them really don’t live in England.

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