LONGLIST REVIEW: Chase

 He’s the product of a secret government research centre. A multi-million dollar canine super spy computer. Yes, a dog! Technicians have invested years of experimental research in him, but he’s just not up to the job, He’s too easily distracted on spy missions and still prefers to chase squirrels rather than focus on the assignment he has been programmed to perform. So he’s due to be terminated, but Chipper has a plan.

That plan includes twelve year old Jeff, recently orphaned and living with his Aunt Flo at her lakeside fishing resort, Shady Acres Camp. He hates living there, not least because Flo treats him like a servant - clean this, fetch that; he misses his parents and his old life with them.

When Jeff and Chipper’s stories collide, the real chase begins. The Institute are not happy that their canine super computer has run a way and they want it back no matter the cost. They have sent their top agents to track him down and if they can re-engage the GPS in Chipper, they will be able to pinpoint his exact location. Chipper and Jeff are in grave danger, but who can they trust? Chipper knows to much about the dark experiments going on at the Institute and that knowledge will put everyone in danger.

This is a pacey children’s thriller full of high speed chases, technology and a touch of humour. Written by Canadian author, Linwood Barclay, an experienced adult crime fiction writer, this is his first book for a younger audience. There are hints throughout the book that guide the flow of the story, but not so obvious as to spoil the suspense. The characters are well written and right from the first page readers will be championing Chipper to escape and maintain his freedom from the evil grasp of the Institute.

A book built on the question ‘what if’. What if you could put a super computer inside a dog? What if the dog was still distracted by the normal things that attract dogs? What if he escaped? What if you found him?

A great book that will have upper KS2 children on the edge of their seats!

 

Chase      Linwood Barclay

Orion     ISBN: 9781510102194