This book opens with the line, “It was the perfect night for a murder.” It’s 1999, a year after the Good Friday peace accord, and violence and hate between the Protestants and Catholics still plague Belfast. Twelve year old Liam’s parents are the victims of the murder–they are gunned down in their bed as a retaliation killing. Liam escapes out the window, but only after he’s seen the face of one of the killers. The police move him to a safe house, but when Liam is betrayed and revealed to his parents’ killer, once again he is forced to sneak out through a window, on the run for his life. He’ll need his wits, his training as a gymnast, and every bit of courage he’s got to make it through the night.
In this fast-paced, nerve-wracking ride, James Heneghan still manages to get across the historical and political context of the troubles in Northern Ireland in as much detail as most middle school readers will need to understand the story. Never condescending or maudlin, there’s enough action to keep your adrenaline racing, and enough plot and backstory to keep you interested. A good pick for fans of Alex Rider and other action thrillers who are ready to try something with a bit more substance to it at the end of the day.