Shadowmaker (Law at Work)

3.63 avg rating
( 345 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780440219422: Shadowmaker (Law at Work)

Soon after moving to Kluney, a small Texas town, Katie and her mother notice sinister activities involving a secret high-school gang and a company that illegally stores toxic wastes. Reprint. C. K. PW.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Katie Gillian and her journalist mother have moved from Houston to a small coastal Texas town so that Mom can write a novel in peace. Katie's resentful; she misses her beloved ballet lessons and, at her new school, she's assigned to help Lana Jean improve her English-class journal, which is as strange as the girl herself: it's an account of the activities of Travis, a hunk with whom Lana Jean is infatuated. Meanwhile, the Gillians are plagued by a series of attacks on their house and a burglary. When Katie and Lana Jean go to a carnival, Lana, obviously shadowing Travis once again, disappears. Next morning, a carnival worker is found murdered. Is this related to the violence at the Gillians' home--or to illegal toxic waste disposal by the town's major employer, which Mrs. Gillian has been investigating? When Lana Jean, too, is murdered, Katie realizes everyone's in danger- -and also that Lana Jean's journal (in which Travis is now very interested) may contain a crucial clue. With believable characters caught in a web of violence and intrigue, Nixon is nearly at the top of her form in this smoothly knit novel. Teenage mystery aficionados will love it. (Fiction. 12+) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 7-10-Eve Gillian takes a leave of absence from her job as an investigative reporter to write a novel, and she and her teenaged daughter, Katie, settle temporarily in a small, Texas seaside town. Threatening letters and spooky nighttime visitors keep mother and daughter on edge; the local sheriff isn't sympathetic; Katie begrudges leaving her Houston high school; and the townspeople fear for their jobs at the local waste disposal plant once Eve starts poking around. Then two people are murdered, and Katie uncovers a cabal of teenaged boys dedicated to petty and not-so-petty crime. A few scenes are suspenseful, but overall the mystery just isn't very mysterious. The characters are flat, except for the pitiful murdered girl so desperate for attention, and the villain isn't very ominous. The workings of the plot are too transparent and the red herrings too red. The setting is surprisingly generic and lacks a convincing sense of place. Nixon has a long string of suspenseful page-turners, but Shadowmaker is, unfortunately, not one of her stronger efforts.
Kathy Fritts, Jesuit High School, Portland, OR
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Nixon, Joan Lowery
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Nixon, Joan Lowery
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