Raven Lucas used to have a normal life, until that all changed without warning. Raven’s father has disappeared under suspicious circumstances, and no-one seems to think he’s coming back. The police aren’t interested in Raven’s theories, her mother is slowly sinking into another nervous breakdown, and Raven’s uncle Gerald— her father’s business partner—is getting a little too close to the family. But Raven is not going to sit and wait for her father to show up. With the help of her friends, she starts searching for clues. She doesn’t have to look far to find out how little she knew about her dad. Christine Harris is a prolific children’s author whose books have been published in Australia and internationally. Raven Lucas is a refreshing female character who references Nancy Drew, and yet is much more up-to-date. Raven’s bright, colourful world is believable and engaging, and the secondary characters are fun, if a little stereotypical. Harris’ short chapters and punchy scene changes create a high-tension storyline, full of surprises. The romantic tension is well-crafted, which will appeal to the story’s 10-plus demographic. This is a strong new series for its age group.
Rebecca Butterworth is a freelance writer and book reviewer living in Melbourne. This review first appeared in the Summer issue of Bookseller+Publisher magazine.