348. Close to the Heel by Norah McClintock
Seven: The Series
Oct 10 2012, Orca Book Publishers, 257 pgs
"No one is more surprised than Rennie to hear that his late grandfather, whom he hardly knew, has left a mission for him to fulfill. Rennie is to fly to Iceland and deliver a message from beyond the grave, but when he gets there, nothing is simple or straightforward. For one thing, Brynja, the teenage daughter of the family he's staying with, is downright hostile. Her father Einar, who is to be Rennie's guide in Iceland, is preoccupied with looking after his elderly father-in-law, an old friend of Rennie's grandfather. Bored and a little bit annoyed, Rennie explores the town and becomes aware that the family is dealing with more than their grief over Brynja's mother's death the year before. Before he realizes what is happening, his curiosity puts Rennie in grave danger, with no one to trust and no one to save him except himself. "
Borrowed a copy from my local library.
This is the third book I've read in this series which purports that the books may be read in any order. So far, I completely agree with that premise and am enjoying picking out books in my own order. I picked this book next because the previous two books had mentioned this seventh grandson that no one knew and they had been asked to get in touch with him but they didn't. Also, I have not read this author before, but I have always wanted to as she is an award-winning Canadian author of YA mystery/thrillers. I was hooked with the first chapter which uses the device of starting at the end where the main character is in a life and death situation. Then the story starts from the beginning to eventually tell us how he ended up there. I loved the main character, Rennie and really enjoyed the Iceland setting. I haven't read many books set in that country that aren't adult thrillers. The book was quite intense and starts off mysterious almost from the beginning as Rennie stumbles upon both a mysterious death and disappearance. This book doesn't really concentrate on the grandfather as the other two did. His story is there but it's just in the background; the main focus here are the crimes and Rennie's relationship with his dad. The mystery was good quality; I never know what to expect from a YA mystery since I read so many adult thrillers. However I was caught up in the story and found myself figuring out the mystery only steps ahead of Rennie, including the twist ending ... until the author sprung a second twist that threw Rennie (and me!) for a loop. I love a surprise like that; it makes for a great mystery!
No other grandsons were mentioned in this book at all so my next pick in the series is really going to be up to topic or author preference.