Winner of the Scottish Book Award 2010 (Older Readers category).
Tension mounts and there is no escape in this gripping thriller about gang violence. Leo and his best friend Sean have been brought up knowing how to avoid danger from the violent gangs who run their estate. But, they can’t help being excited by the drama of the turf wars even though they try to keep out of trouble. When Leo witnesses a terrible event he finds his whole life turned upside down as he gets too close to the inside. Knowing he mustn’t grass, Leo tries to cope on his own but the choices he has to make test everything he has ever believed in. A high octane drama that is also thought-provoking.
It would have been hard to have missed what was written on the wall. Painted in giant whitewashed letters: 'SHARKEY IS A GRASS'. I hadn't a clue who Sharkey was, but I knew one thing.
'Sharkey's a dead man,' I said. Leo knows the value of never grassing and that you never grass on your friends. Everybody, too, knows the gang leaders in town.
And you don't grass on them. Not unless you don't value your life - like Sharkey. And then Leo is unlucky enough to witness the murder of one gang leader by another, a man called Armour.
Leo is petrified as he realises what he is witnessing and even more petrified when he realises that Armour has seen him. Sure that he is drawing his own last breath, Leo silently says goodbye to his family and everybody he knows. But all Armour does is wink at Leo, very slowly, and leave the scene of the crime.
Leo draws a long breath of relief. He has got away with it. But he hasn't - not really.
Leo will live to regret that wink and realise that Armour has an insidious hold on him and his family,which will test his family relationships, and his very sense of what is right and wrong. It will take bravery, luck and sheer daring to extricate himself from Armour's deadly web.
|Publication date:||3rd August 2009|
|Publisher:||Bloomsbury Publishing Plc|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers|
|Other Categories:||All Shortlists and Winners|
Scottish author Cathy McPhail won the Kathleen Fidler Award with her novel Run Zan Run, the Scottish Arts Council Award with her second novel, Fighting Back, a Royal Mail award and the 2010 Explore Award for Roxy's Baby and the 2010 Stockport Award and Royal Mail Award for Grass. Cathy's work is enormously popular with young teenagers, her trademarks being pacy and topical storylines. Cathy lives in Greenock, Scotland. Cathy wrote Run Zan Run after her daughter Katie was bullied at school. Cathy now loves writing for children. Asked what she'd do if she ...More About Cathy MacPhail
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