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Crusher Hardcover – September 11, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-After high-school dropout Finn Maguire comes home to find his starving-writer father (really his stepfather) bludgeoned to death at the dining room table, he makes it his mission to find the killer. Meanwhile, his lack of cooperation with authorities has some members of the police force pegging Finn as the suspect. Leonard introduces numerous characters as possible suspects, causing the story to take many twists and turns that leave readers guessing the identity of the murderer until the very end. Finn frequently finds himself engaged in battle with villains as he pursues leads into his father's death with a vengeance, carrying a feeling of suspense throughout the novel. Some of the British slang may throw American readers off, but overall the language discrepancies do not take away from the fast-paced story line.-Nicole Knott, Watertown High School, CTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

An Edgar Award finalist for Best Young Adult Novel

" A hard-hitting adventure . . . travels at a gripping pace."--Publishers Weekly

"Many twists and turns that keep readers guessing."--School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; 1 edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385743548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385743549
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,333,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Niall Leonard was born in 1959 in grew up in Newry, Northern Ireland. He graduated from the UK National Film and TV School in 1986 as a director and screenwriter, and went on to write comedies, thrillers and historical dramas for UK network TV, including Ballykissangel, Hornblower, Monarch of the Glen, Silent Witness and Wire In The Blood. His first novel, Crusher, was published in 2012 by Random House, and nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America and for Best First Novel by the 2013 Edinburgh Book Festival. Two sequels, Incinerator and Shredder, will be published in 2014.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Liviania VINE VOICE on September 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
CRUSHER was so obviously a generic thriller title that I paid it little attention. Imagine my surprise when it was relevant to the story in multiple ways. It's one of the many ways CRUSHER was a pleasant surprise. It landed on my porch not too long ago, but caught my attention because it had been overnighted. That's not usual for an unsolicited review copy.

The included letter started by talking about Niall Leonard's wife, E L James (FIFTY SHADES OF GREY) and mentioned he'd just written CRUSHER last November. That made me a touch wary, concerned that CRUSHER had been rushed into production due to Leonard's association with infamy. And, okay, I still assumed that happened, but CRUSHER can stand on its own merits.

Quick note: I read the UK text. I don't know if the US version will be any different, but generally references to salad on sandwiches and such is changed. Now back to the review.

Finn Maguire doesn't have much hope for the future. He works in fast food without much hope of advancement since he dropped out of high school. He can't read well due to dyslexia and a lack of academic encouragement. He lives in squalor with his father, an out-of-work actor who talks about becoming a screenwriter but never manages to sell any of his work. Coming home from work one day, Finn finds his father murdered. The police suspect Finn, leading him to start his own investigation.

Soon, Finn is mixed up with the biggest gangster around and getting by day-by-day now includes not getting killed himself. I really liked Finn's character. He's determined and clever, absolutely terrific at improvising, but he's not that smart. He's got a strong moral center too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PDXbibliophile on August 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Crusher is an old school murder mystery in the best sense. There are multiple plausible suspects, a tenacious teen turned detective, scary bad guys, a mysterious beautiful girl who shows up out of nowhere, and nail biting action packed suspense. When Finn comes home from his depressing fast food job to find his father dead in a pool of blood, he is flummoxed. His father was an unemployed recluse, and they are too poor to have anything to steal. The police are flummoxed, too. That is why Finn is their only suspect. Finn decides the only way to save himself and get justice for his father is to find the real killer. Like many teens, Finn is well intentioned, but foolish and impulsive. He manages to get himself in several very scary situations. Luckily, he is also a quick thinker, pretty good liar, super fast long distance runner and excellent boxer. YA readers will have fun trying to put the clues together before Finn does. Rookie mystery genre readers are in for a couple of big surprise twists.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I recently finished reading `Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson'. The premise of these two books seemed similar to me when I picked up this one and read the summary. In both cases, the main suspect is the child of the victim and both the families had a lot of dark secrets. But that's where the similarities end.

Finn Maguire discovers his step father murdered and once police is involved, he becomes the main suspect in the case. Finn doesn't trust the Detective in charge of the case and decides to take matters into his own hands and starts investigating on his own. What he does find leads him to the underground world of organised crime and things get more and more murky and dangerous. The book follows Finn's journey to find out the truth and clear his name.

First, the characters... There wasn't a single character in the book that I can point out as the one I liked, including the protagonist Finn. I have read enough books to have come across plots involving regular people rising above their ordinary life to solve a mystery. In most cases there is something to the protagonist's character or their path that would make it easy to believe in them. But in this case it was really difficult to believe in Finn. He is careless, ruthless with his boxing training as the only trick up his sleeve. The way he handled things were outrageous and most of the time it was just luck and coincidence that he came across some clue or came out alive in a situation. I could almost imagine Professor McGonagall awarding him points for `sheer dumb luck'. Another thing that I did not like was the way the author handled the matter of dyslexia. I found it to be very insensitive and not properly handled.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeremysnana on January 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. It was fast paced, and a surprising ending. My only issue is that there was a few times that I needed to look up words in my kindle dictionary. I have trouble believing that a 17 yr old supposedly illiterate boy would think or use words such as lugubrious and incongruous.
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Format: Paperback
Crusher is an absolutely brilliant thrilling read! If you’re looking for a book that will blow your mind, and you love an edgy mystery…this YA thriller is just what you are looking for!

No matter how I write this review, it won’t do Crusher the justice it deserves. It was refreshing to step away from the romance genre and be completely engrossed by this riveting story! I’m dying to read then next two books in the series, Incinerator and Shredder! Crusher is edgy, so many unexpected twists and turns that had my heart in my throat. There is absolutely nothing predictable about this read! I didn’t want to put it down, I needed to know what was going to happen next. Mr. Leonard is a brilliant storyteller, his attention to detail added to the level of mystery and left this reader constantly guessing. Every situation had me on edge and every character had me wondering.

Right from the first few pages, the witty english banter caught my attention. I knew Crusher was going to be my kind of read when the phrase “jammy sod” was said within the first few pages. This is a phrase I love, and use. I’m an english transplant so I get excited by english television shows and books. I was especially chuffed that there was a token Geordie. * inserts hand clapping* Why am I envisioning Gordon Ramsey with a Geordie accent ;-) Some readers may have a problem with some of the English slang used but I think for the most part, they’ll be able figure it out.

The characters Mr. Leonard created are brilliant. Even the simplest character is so well-developed that they left me wondering what part they played in the grand scheme of the story. Finn Maguire is fabulous, his wit, the way he got himself in and out of trouble…Finn is a the kind of main character that keeps readers coming back for more.
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