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Praise for Code of Silence:
“Deliberate, plausible, and gritty whodunit.” –Booklist Starred Review
A detour through the park leads Cooper, Gordy, Hiro, and Lunk straight into a trap, and Gordy is abducted!
For the kidnapper, it’s all a game, a way to settle an old score, with no one getting hurt. But evil has a way of escalating, and once his identity is discovered, the rules change.
Despite the best of police efforts, the hours tick by without a clue or a ransom call, leaving everyone to their own fears. Gordy is gone. Cooper descends deeper into a living nightmare, imagining the worst for his best friend and cousin. Hours stretch into days, and talks of a memorial service begin to surface. But Cooper still feels his cousin is alive and develops a reckless plan, changing all the rules. Now the one who set out to rescue his friend needs to be rescued himself. Sometimes rescuing a friend from darkness means going in after them.
In the second Code of Silence novel (and sequel to Code of Silence), Shoemaker offers another tale of mystery, suspense, and the peril that can accompany loyalty. Friends Cooper, Gordy, Hiro, and Lunk think they are doing the right thing when they try to help someone near the park. But the good deed results in Gordy's being abducted. When the police are stymied by the crime, Cooper and the other kids do their own investigating, and Cooper's powerful motivation to save his cousin Gordy leads him into a terrifying predicament. The author largely succeeds at building tension and creating truly harrowing situations, though several repetitive scenes and an abundance of descriptive detail add some extraneous bulk and occasionally slow the pace of the central plot line. Readers may guess the kidnapper's identity (aided by some foreshadowing) but they will still be on the edge of their seats anticipating the fate of Cooper and Gordy right till the book's end. Shoemaker gives the proceedings a moral grounding as characters pray, question why God lets bad things happen, and ponder the true meaning of friendship. An author's note and questions for discussion also focus on these themes. Ages 8-12.