A fast-paced and exciting coming of age tale. Highly recommended
The Trainee Undercover is a young adult action and adventure thriller written by Brenda Shaw. Alex Brian and his friends, Angela, Harry and George, had been boon companions since they were small. His friends were all starting summer jobs in a week, but they had this first week of summer to spend together. As usual, they all met up at Harry’s house. Harry’s parents had a huge place with a modified garage that had been adopted as the group’s hangout. They had a badminton game planned for that first morning. As usual, George was late, but this time, he also seemed distracted and played more of a lackluster game than usual. Harry and Angela won easily, and Alex was rather unhappy with his unsporting partner. After a large lunch provided by Harry’s mum, George finally revealed the reason for his distraction. His father had been receiving anonymous threatening letters regarding the embezzlement of funds he discovered at Pat Pharma, where he was the Chief Operating Officer. The letter writer threatened to harm his family if he spoke to the police, and even went as far as to abduct George’s little sister and return her unharmed as a warning. George’s father decided to send George and the rest of his family back to the United States. Alex and his friends were stunned by the news, but Alex also saw a fatal flaw in George’s father’s plan. Pat Pharma was an international corporation with business interests all over the world. His family would be put in even greater peril if sent away. The four young adults knew that they could do something to solve this crisis, and, working as a team, they were determined to make it happen.
Brenda Shaw’s young adult action and adventure thriller, The Trainee Undercover, is a fast-paced and exciting coming of age tale. I enjoyed seeing how the four friends decide to tackle a real world problem as a team, and marveled at the imagination and ingenuity they exhibit as they do so. Alex, as the budding private investigator, is brilliant as he masters his recurring nightmares about armed assailants and puts himself in some perilous situations as part of his first real case. Shaw gives the armchair sleuth plenty of clues and red herrings to ponder along with Alex and his friends, and the solution is by no means a predictable one. Her characters are well-defined and authentic, and her writing style is fluid and smooth. The Trainee Undercover is highly recommended.
– Reviewed By Jack Magnus