As a non-parent I got tired of books about parenting – warring parents and those judging others so have been trying to steer clear of them. The Curfew by TM Logan includes an element of that… relationships between parents and their kids and with other parents, but it’s more about parents trying to get to the bottom of a mystery involving their son… and forced to ponder the extent of that involvement.
So this appealed to mystery-loving me. Someone goes missing. It’s not who we initially think. Or even who we next think. And even then there’s a weird silence around the missing person. Teenaged friends with them at the time are strangely silent when it’s obvious they should be doing everything they can to help them be found. Unless of course they have some other ulterior motive. But how on earth do you get a group of teenagers to keep a secret without one of them caving…. ?
by T.M. Logan
Published by Zaffre
Source: Allen & Unwin
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
Andy and Laura are good parents. They tell their son Connor that he can go out with friends to celebrate completing his exams, but he must be home by midnight.
When Connor misses his curfew, it sets off a series of events that will change the lives of five families forever.
Because five teenagers went into the woods that night, but only four came out. And telling the truth might mean losing everything...
I loved the way Logan opens this book as we’re kept guessing as to the missing person for some time and the suspense is built early. And when we do get more information we’re still in the dark. The book unfolds from a few points of view – mainly Andy and his 12yr old daughter Harriet (Harry) in the present and some of the teenagers involved in later events, in the past.
Andy and Laura do seem like good parents. We also meet Andy’s recently widowed brother Rob whose son Zac is close to Connor; along with parents of others present before the disappearance.
I enjoyed this and appreciated that Logan doesn’t take us where we expect. And where an author would be tempted to go. Logan also touches on some topical issues around bullying, spiking drinks as well as the pros and cons of social media, but it has to be said that my favourite thing about this whole book was Harriet. What a delight!
Harriet was young when she realised that she had a superpower.
Five, maybe six years old. It wasn’t a Marvel superpower, not super-strength like the Hulk, or speed like Quicksilver, or flying or whatever. It wasn’t quite like any of those, but it was nearly as good.
She could see things that were invisible.
Well, almost. Invisible to everyone else anyway.
She could see things that other people would never notice, even if they were looking right at them….
She just let the other kids get on with it. She had her own way of doing things, at school and at home.
She was good at finding what no one else could see. p 158
So while Andy’s picking through the clues, Harriet’s online. Scouring through social media accounts, hacking into sites she shouldn’t, tracing phones and data. She’s ah-mazing. In fact, as the book neared its end I was disappointed to be leaving her. I’d read an entire series with her as the focus. Of course I don’t want terrible fates to continue to befall her family… so perhaps it could be a YA series focused around her prowess. Or she was recruited (at 12) by a government agency or similar. (Oh wait… isn’t Harriet the Spy already a thing?!)
The Curfew by TM Logan was published in Australia by Allen & Unwin and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.