RoadTrip America

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The Boxer and the Spy, by Robert Parker (Read by Scott Brick)

Jason Green's apparent suicide seems like one more example of a teenager escaping the pressures of society by turning to drugs. When his body is discovered in the surf on a New England beach, it is assumed that Jason's abuse of steroids caused him to become depressed and to act irrationally. Not believing that the boy's death was a suicide or an accident, Terry Novak, an aspiring boxer, decides to investigate. His interest in the case soon attracts attention and inspires threats, but with all the bullying and intimidation, Terry grows more determined to uncover Jason's killer. An intricate network of surveillance and reporting, organized and overseen by his girlfriend, Abby, provides the evidence Terry needs to solve the crime, but it puts Abby and Terry in the crosshairs of the killer.

Robert Parker is amassing a whole new generation of fans with his second novel written for a teenage audience. Just as Spenser, Hawk and Jesse Stone use intelligence, strength and humor to bring order and justice to their communities, the junior detectives in this book sharpen those skills by working with a trusted adult and apply them in solving their mystery. Written by a master mystery author and expertly narrated by one of today's most accomplished audio book readers, Scott Brick, The Boxer and the Spy packs a one-two punch for content and delivery. Having Scott Brick as the reader for a young adult book is like having Steven Spielberg direct the school play. It doesn't get any better.

Parker not only tells a good story that will appeal to adolescent readers, he interlaces the action and dialogue with teen issues: peer acceptance, sexuality, growth and hormonal changes, parental demands, school pressures. While the audio book stands on its own as an engrossing drama that can be enjoyed for its entertainment value, it could also serve as an ideal starting point to spark group, peer or family discussion. Although written for young adults, this audio book is one that adults will also enjoy. This audio book is the perfect choice for a family road trip vacation or for Mom's taxi service.

Ruth Mormon

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