Murderer's Thumb, by Beth Montgomery

Adam’s hand and neck were suddenly clammy. He stumbled closer, fighting back an urge to flee. But there was no mistaking what he saw. It was bone. He ran over to the black object, which lay on the soft bed of fallen silage. It was a boot. A black boot with a metal buckle. His eyes swung back to the silage in the grab/ the idling tractor had shaken free more of the dead grass. Adam could make out the curving bones of a ribcage.

Adam is not impressed when he and his mother have to move to rural Falcon ridge. They are on the run, hiding from Adam’s violent father. This is supposed to be a safe place for them, but a few days after his arrival, Adam discovers a body buried in a silage pit on the farm where they live.

Unsettled by the find, Adam is nonetheless intrigued. He likes mysteries, and here is one right under his nose. Helped by the diary he finds hidden in his house, Adam sets out to figure out who killed the girl, the teenage daughter of the farm owner, who disappeared six years previously.

Murderer’s Thumb is an intriguing murder mystery for teen readers, but it also something more, exploring the issues of secrets in small communities, and of being an outsider in such a place, among others. There are several twists and a diverse and interesting cast of characters.

Murderer's Thumb

Murderer’s Thumb, by Beth Montgomery
Text Publishing, 2008

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