After the stunning ending to their adventures in Family Matters, Jason and Daniel are determined to spend the remainder of the summer relaxing and kicking back. Now that Jason and Daniel have pledged to go steady with their girl friends, Laura and Diana, they discover that they have new obligations and personal issues to deal with. Jason is eager to play interleague basketball with his friend Chauncey and his other A-List team members. But new complications beguile Chauncey as another player tries to make him look bad during their games.
Daniel is happy to spend much of his time rehearsing with his band now that his rhythm section is settled, Nick has become their neighbor, and is a valued and creative member of the band. After talking with Jason about the recovery process for what happened to them earlier that summer in Family Matters, Nick realizes that he has debt to pay to the other victims who didn’t survive, and begins working on an intensely personal musical project to provide closure. Eric reaches out to help Ben Kessler, the other young boy rescued by Jason and the police task force.
On Tim's recommendation the band auditions a potential new member, Jonathan Kowalski, a talented reed player who is an excellent performer on saxophone, flute, and clarinet. Unfortunately Jonathan has complications in his family life because his mother has become addicted to methamphetamines and is spending her time with a low life drug dealer. Jason and the other band members become very concerned about Jonathan as they rally to help him out.
Arthur Vincenzo is now living in the Silicon Valley, adopted by Captain Antonio Garcia and his wife, Marisol. Arthur is grateful to finally have a stable home life, but it is threatened by gang members who want to recruit him.
Jaime Orlando and the media are keeping an eye on Jason and his activities. Part of the storyline is told from the point of view of reports by Jaime for KHHT television Eyewitness News as the story line builds to its exciting and moving conclusion. Full of action and emotion, you won't want to miss Eyewitness News, the fifth book in the Hunter & Holmes Mystery Series. 294 pages, illustrated with 48 full color illustrations and graphics, and the vocal-piano score to part of Nicolo Ferraducci’s musical project.
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By the end of the story readers will be left with a sweet feeling of satisfaction.
Following the controversial roller coaster ride that is Family Matters, the fifth installment in the series, Eyewitness News is a slower, yet equally satisfying experience. The reason that the pace of the novel feels more normal is due to interwoven chapters portraying on-air televised interviews between the news reporter Jaime Orlando and the protagonist Jason Hunter. These scenes provide interesting reflection through Jason’s testimonies, as well as unbiased analysis through the scrutiny of Jaime. Regarding the plot, the boys experience another summer vacation put on pause due to obligations much more urgent. This story introduces Jonathan; a friend of Tim’s (Daniel’s band’s drummer), and extremely gifted multi-instrumentalist. After a fabulous audition, the gang interviews Jonathan further in order to make sure that he is fit for the challenge, and can fully commit to being a member of the band. Jason and Daniel discover that Jonathan’s home life is a far shot from ideal. Jonathan’s parents are divorced, and his father lives across the country on the East coast. To add insult to injury, Jonathan’s mother has been abusing methamphetamines, and her addiction aggravates an already bruised household. In walks Scott, a meth dealer and new “boyfriend” to Jonathan’s mother, who immediately causes tension and adds stress to the situation. Jason and the gang immediately pick him out as a catalyst for trouble, and start to prepare themselves for the worst. Things get dangerously tense, and the Hunter & Holmes team jump into action to help resolve the conflict. Pick up the fifth installment of the series to find out what goes down!
This adventure covers an extremely weighted and serious issue in both drug abuse and dealing with familial conflicts and stresses resulting from divorce. However, by the end of the story readers will be left with a sweet feeling of satisfaction from all of the scenes portraying the growth and progress of the protagonists. Musically, the boys are really progressing nicely, and are starting to work towards their potential as professional musicians. Also, essentially every teenage romantic relationship in the novel shows sympathetic lows and heartwarming highs. There are also several exciting scenes related to Jason and his basketball career. Putting the mystery aside, the book is chock full of side information that helps complete the picture in readers minds.
The reoccurring theme of highlighting how beneficial the arts and sports are for teenagers is back in full force this time around. However, it seems like the imagery in this novel surpasses any previous attempts at glorifying the motif. The descriptions of the performances and songs by both the band and the individual members are vivid and enlightening; one can almost hear the music in their head as they read the segments. The author also supplements these descriptions with snapshots of the true healing effects of the music on characters, especially Nick. The play-by-play style of describing the intense basketball games is equally, effective and quite exciting. Through these chapters young readers can really catch a glimpse of the positivity and fun that comes with involvement in both of these key areas, and how incorporating such activities can improve the quality of one’s life.
Although the much more normal pace may seem different from the other novels, Eyewitness News is an extremely gratifying read. By highlighting the emotional growth and positive progress of the minor characters in the series, readers get a true feel for their difficult yet vital healing processes. Watching these boys overcome adversity and fight through internal and external turmoil will inspire readers of all ages. And just as readers would expect, the team is just as sharp and diligent as ever, as they will surely continue to be when they tackle whatever comes at them in the sixth novel.
Hunter & Holmes make headlines
Eyewitness News, the fifth Hunter & Holmes novel, sheds light on the ever changing and increasingly complicated personal lives of each character. The young detectives continue to enrich their personal lives by reaching out to former crime victim Ben Kessler, getting closer with their girlfriends Laura and Diana, bonding with the A-list guys, and spending time with Captain Garcia and his family. Daniel’s band continues to grow in talent and in numbers, especially when their drummer Tim introduces them to his friend and talented wind musician Jonathan Kowalski. Also, Jason’s fame continues to increase and he must learn to deal with balancing his amateur detective career with his serious commitment to his steady girlfriend Laura. Unhappy with his detective tendencies, Laura implores Jason to take a break from working cases, and he agrees. But when the time comes, Jason can’t resist helping out when he’s needed the most.
Before Jonathan officially joins the band, the other members want to make sure he is fully committed. When asked about his personal life, he reluctantly admits that his mother Madeline is addicted to crystal meth, and has been on a downward spiral ever since his father left. Dedicated to supporting him in any way, the band welcomes him with open arms and pledges to treat him like a brother. However, his troubles increase when his mother’s boyfriend, meth dealer Scott Brewster, moves in. With that, the reader is given a horrifying look into the Kowalski household, riddled with drugs, neglect, and abuse. After Jonathan attempts to stand up to Scott and make things right with his mother, Scott forcibly takes him to his secluded house in the mountains. There, Jonathan fears he will be a prisoner to more than just the wrath of Scott Brewster.
With only a tiny trace of hope in finding Jonathan, the Hunter & Holmes team must work quickly and creatively to track him down. With the help of helicopter pilot Stan Henderson and crewman Jack O’Reilly, Jason and Daniel are able to “manipulate the system,” as Stan says, in order to save their friend. But when Jason decides to bypass the authorities and take action himself, it could be the last decision he ever makes, and it’s up to Daniel to set things straight.
Once again, music plays a tremendously significant role in the lives of these young people. Jonathan is able to withstand his abuse and work through his healing process through music and true friendship. Nick deals with his own grief and anguish by composing an impressive musical piece titled Requiem for the Lost Children as a means of speaking for and bringing peace to the other less fortunate victims of the San Matthias case. Daniel’s band, the Second Chance All Stars, provides a safety net and foundation for growth and truth to both its members and others in need. Throughout this novel and the series as a whole, the bond between musical friends is proven to be the strongest and most influential, giving rise to a network of love and support that truly is priceless.
Action, danger, and teen insight: Eyewitness News delivers it all!
In Eyewitness News, Jason Hunter and Daniel Holmes’ magnetic draw to crime inevitably impedes on the detective team’s “normal teen” school vacation. Despite promises to their steady girlfriends to avoid danger this summer, it is not long before a new friend opens up about his drug-addicted mother and her abusive, drug-dealing boyfriend. In the name of duty, Jason places himself in another hazardous situation to defeat a predator and prevent a certain downfall of his friend. Though beyond the adventure-stricken drama, Eyewitness News captures the spirit of protagonists Jason, Daniel, and their crew by adding equal amounts of emotionally insightful chapters. Whether you’re looking for overt action and danger, or relatable struggles of teenage life, Eyewitness News delivers it all in one well-wrapped package.
Eyewitness News illustrates that life is not always sunny, even in the Silicon Valley. While readers find a high thrill level in the previous four books, the fifth installment heavily develops a teen reality by presenting multiple relatable conflicts and disagreements found close to home. Family loyalty and coming of age are contemplated by Jonathan, a new and talented member of Jason’s band, who must confront his drug-addicted mother to improve the future of his family. Similarly grim situations are reported with Arthur Vincenzo being approached by gang members, and an ongoing disagreement with Jason and his girlfriend Laura. Though each character has a different struggle, they are all tied together in the head-on manner each one confronts the problem. Just like the previous books of the series, the writing has a unique way of infusing situations with overarching yet subtly implemented life lessons.
Even though this is the fifth book in the series, the character growth ensures readers will not find themselves bored with any personalities. Victims from the past stories are not forgotten, but revisited to learn of their progress in moving forward after each tragedy. The connection with the past books cultivates the dynamic relationships between readers and characters, and the themes of music and coping continue to grow in meaning as they are reiterated and thus strengthened.
Nick Feraducci, a teen victim first introduced in Family Matters, plays a prominent role in Eyewitness News. He continues to cope with his own kidnapping as well as the deaths of the children that were previously kidnapped and eventually murdered by his same kidnapper. In continuation of his healing, he composes a musical masterpiece entitled Requiem for the Lost Children to act as a tribute to the murdered children. Music is reinstated as a healing power and also a means to express and deal with all types of emotions.
The book also breaks from the typical format by calling upon Jason’s relationship with television reporter Jaime Orlando. Jaime conducts a three part interview series with Jason, and the chapters provide the transcripts of the conversation to change the format of information sharing. In the interviews, Jason opens up about his intentions with the Whatever Foundation, his detective experiences, and what really drives him forward in life. The audience gains further insight into Jason as an individual, while the fresh, appealing format increasing feelings of reader involvement.