Malarkey by Keith Gray


Malarkey by Keith Gray

Brook High is a great grey concrete ants' nest of a school. John Malarkey is the new kid, thrown in at the deep end of Year 11. He's the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time. Through what at first appears to be a random meeting, he helps a girl called Mary Chase out of a tricky situation, but is subsequently accused of stealing report cards to sell to students so they can write their own bogus reports. He quickly realises it was all a set-up, and that he's been used to take the fall. The teacher who accuses him of the crime gives him one day to prove his innocence. Malarkey tries to track down Mary Chase, but it's difficult in such a huge place. He does, however, discover strange goings-on beneath the surface of the normal school day. The more questions he asks the deeper he becomes involved in the corrupt under-belly of the school. He's also noticed the peculiar fact that so many kids at Brook wear Adidas trainers - black with the three white stripes. He realises that these are the badge of membership worn by those involved in the school's 'mafia'. He discovers that the name of the organisation's leader is Freddie Cloth, and Mary Chase turns out to be Cloth's girlfriend. Malarkey is soon noticed for asking so many questions, and receives warnings and then threats to back down. But, with time quickly running out for him, he still has to prove his innocence. And the only way to do this is to get to Freddie Cloth.

Browse inside this book


A tense thriller founded on conveying psychology, Malarkey is a compelling British version of Robert Cormier's US classic, The Chocolate War -- Julia Eccleshare Guardian Ingenious and exciting -- Kit Spring Observer Clever, cool, suspenseful -- Nicolette Jones The Sunday Times A gripping and dangerous read that stays in the mind for its chilling reality, the power of the story and the quality of the writing -- Wendy Cooling The Bookseller Don't miss this! It's Keith Gray's best novel to date. Opening with a breathless bag chase, it doesn't let up the momentum for a second -- Michael Thorn Achuka

About the Author

Keith Gray

31-year-old Keith was born and brought up in Grimsby and knew from an early age that he wanted to be a writer. When he received 0% for his accountancy exams he decided to pursue his dream. He has since gone on to win the Angus Book Award and the silver medal in the Smarties Prize. He has twice been shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Booktrust Teen Prize and the Scottish Arts Council Book Award. Rave reviews about his writing have appeared in every broadsheet. Keith was a judge for the Blue Peter Book Award, the Guardian Fiction Prize and the Kathleen Fiedler Award. He has just been asked to judge next year's Booktrust Teen Prize. He was recently interviewed on Radio 4 with Jacqueline Wilson about writing for teens, was featured on Live and Kicking, and his novel The Warehouse has been optioned for television. Keith is now a full-time writer living in Edinburgh.

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info


208 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Keith Gray
More books by Keith Gray


Publication date

5th June 2003



We love Lovereading as my 5 year old loves to read new books before anyone else has a chance, she says it makes reading exciting!

Tracey Chorley

I love ‘LoveReading 4 kids’ because they let you read and learn things you’d never dreamed of learning before.

Emily Horncastle – age 11

I love finding new books to read. My mummy and me look at the new ones coming out. I have written reviews of some of them!

Jessica Cobbin – age 7

Love “Lovereading4kids” as my son gets to hear about & read new books before his mates which keeps him interested in reading=a very happy Mum

Liz Evans

I am so pleased to have signed my kids up as they are reading a much wider range of books and even choosing books out of their comfort zone.

Angela East

It gives me a chance to read types of books that I would not normally try, and it motivates me to read every night to finish it!

Alice Horncastle, age 14

This company is amazing; not only is it is a great opportunity to get books and review them but everyone is so friendly and supportive!

Jemma Rubens, age 10

Lovereading is just a convenient way to find new books and hear others opinions on them.

Sarah Murray – age 15

Lovereading 4 schools