Dooley Takes the Fall by Norah McClintock

book coverOnly a few months out in the world after a three year sentence in a juvenile detention hall, Ryan Dooley comes across the body of a teenager while on his way home from work. Dooley wants nothing more than to keep his head down, stay out of trouble and get through the last year of high school in peace, but he does the right thing and calls the police.

But the dead boy turns out to be a fellow student who was known to have caused trouble for Dooley, and bit-by-bit evidence is mounting up pointing straight to him. The police aren’t likely to look elsewhere once they have an obvious suspect; his school has judged him guilty and just wants to get rid of him; and Dooley’s uncle – the only one who has given Dooley a break – is having a harder and harder time believing him. But Dooley isn’t going to take the fall without a fight…

This is an exciting, well-written ‘high-school noir’ mystery, in a similar vein to the movie Brick and the television series Veronica Mars, but with the added appeal of Dooley: a cool, hard-nosed, world-weary kid who, through all his misadventures, has the reader rooting for him.

~ Tom