Ages 12 and up
Penguin, 2003, 0-14-240292-3
Alex Rider is delighted to be spending a very normal summer vacation with his friend Sabina and her parents in the south of France. At least it is normal until the day when Alex sees an assassin on a nearby yacht. Alex cannot help following the assassin and he finds out that the man - whom he has met before and who is called Yasem Gregorovich - is planning on making a hit somewhere nearby. Alex decides that the whole thing is none of his business and he returns to the company of the charming Sabina on a beach.
Unfortunately he soon finds out that Yasem’s hit is very much Alex’s business. The villa where he and Sabina are staying is blown up and Sabina’s father is very badly injured. At first Alex thinks that he was the intended target but then he discovers that the target was Sabina’s father and that the man who appears to have arranged for the hit is none other than the famous pop star and philanthropist, Damian Cray.
When Alex tries to tell MI6 what he has found out they refuse to believe him. They simply cannot accept that Damian Cray, a man who has given millions of pounds to charity, could be behind such a terrible act of violence.
Alex will not give up however. He has seen signs that Damian Cray is not the man he pretends to be and soon enough he finds out that the pop icon is in fact a very evil man who has conceived a plan which will end up killing millions of people.
Once again Antony Horowitz sends his brave, very likeable, and very realistic teenage character on a deadly adventure. Once again Alex has to use his wits to fight against an adult who sees the world through twisted and corrupted lenses. Yet again poor Alex is left out in the cold, unsupported by the people who should be helping him. Unexpected twists in the plot and a truly astonishing ending will propel the reader forward on a roller coaster ride of danger and excitement.
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