You wake in the middle of the night, your arms and feet pinned by strong hands. As you thrash your way to consciousness, a calm voice says, ‘Steady, we’re here to help.’ Your mind registers a paramedic, a policeman, an ambulance. You are lying on the lookout at Keeper’s Point, the lookout Amanda Green supposedly threw herself off, and you have absolutely no idea how you got there.
Aaron Rowe has a new job – training to be a funeral director. Luckily Aaron isn’t scared of death. What he is scared of is losing Mam, who grows further away from him every day. And he’s also pretty scared that his sleepwalking habit is going to land him in a lot trouble. If he can’t figure out the truth about his past, he might never get over the terrible dreams which torment his sleep.
The Dead I Know is Scot Gardner at his finest. Managing to be funny, scary, sad and exhilarating all in the same book is hard. Doing it sometimes all on the same page is even harder. Aaron is a troubled teen with a difficult past and a ton of problems in the present, yet he is likeable and even positive in the face of some pretty tough stuff. His story is one which grips and doesn’t leave you alone.
It’s hard to put this book down, even when you’ve finished it.
The Dead I Know, by Scot Gardner
Allen & Unwin, 2011
This book can be purchased in good bookstores, or online from Fishpond.