'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 31 July 2013

Review: Killer Ute

Rosanne Hawke takes a simple setting with characters I care about and turns everything on its head. I will never look at a four-wheel drive with bull bar and nightlights in the same way again.

Everything starts out innocently enough. A scuba dive over a local shipwreck is exciting when you are 12 years old, but when Joel and his best friend Mei are exploring underwater, a shark overshadows them. This incident comes to nothing. Everyone is safe, but dark times and danger are clearly foreshadowed.

Rosanne Hawke balances action, intrigue and surprise as she weaves the threads of Joel’s young life into story. Joel’s parents abandoned him soon after he was born, and his grandparents became his carers. Over the series his dad resurfaces but this father is not what Joel imagined at all. How can family bring so much trouble and danger?

In Killer Ute, Joel has to testify against his Dad in court. He could have answered questions via video, but chose to go appear in person. Things don’t go as well as he’d hoped and the drama just keeps unfolding from there.  

Killer Ute is the third book in a series, but you don’t need to have read the first two to be riveted. Having said that, I can’t wait to devour The Keeper and Sailmaker as well.

Title: Killer Ute
Author: Rosanne Hawke
Publisher: University of Queensland Press (UQP), $15.95 RRP
Publication Date: 27 March 2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780987244499
For ages: 13 +
Type: Young Adult