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CM Archive Book Review line

Marion Crook.
Toronto, ON: Stoddart Publishing, 1991.
171pp., paper, $9.95.
ISBN O-m7-5451-2. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Detective and mystery stories.
Fish-culture-Juvenile fiction.
Salmon fisheries-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 7-9 / Ages 12-14

Reviewed by Anne Louise Mahoney.

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

Susan George, Marion Crook's teenage detective, is back for another adventure.

While visiting her cousin's experimental fish farm on Carpenter Island off the coast of British Columbia, sixteen-year-old Susan becomes involved in the fight to save the farm. Islanders who are against the project become increasingly aggressive, and Susan finds herself in a few dangerous situations before all ends happily.

This novel has a tone and suspense level different from earlier Crook novels such as Payment in Death ¹ and Stone Dead ². For one thing, nobody dies in Island Feud - the only dead bodies are those of fish. The bad guys, who are identified from the beginning of the story, aren't criminals, they're former hippies looking for a cause to defend. And no real crime is committed, although several attempts at sabotaging the project are stopped just in the nick of time.

Although the mystery side of the plot is less compelling than it could be, the story is fast-paced and interesting. Crook's writing is solid, and the dialogue is natural. Susan seems to have matured in this story. She doesn't depend on her RCMP boyfriend Allan (spelled Alan in this novel) to rescue her, and she eventually realizes that the relationship is stifling her. The story is also full of information: readers learn about the art and science of fish farming and about life on one of the Gulf Islands of B.C.

Anne Louise Mahoney, Ottawa, ON.

¹ Reviewed vol. XV/3 May 1987, p. 110.
² Reviewed vol. XVI/3 May 1988, p. 86.

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