Review: ‘Rowdy Days of Dom Sanders: The Case of the Unseen Murder’ by E G Moore

This is a short book for young teens. The main protagonist – the eponymous Dom – is 12. Although there is one scene which I think might be a bit strong for some around that age.

The book explores relationships of those on the cusp of puberty: between siblings, enemies, friends, frenemies, romantic interests and parents. I was a little disappointed at the supporting roles assigned to the girls and women in the book. Although Emma does get the chance to make a difference.

The murder occurs quite late in the book: the threads that lead to it have been skilfully laid and braided by that point, and the story is neatly and satisfyingly wrapped up.

Dom and his older brother, Reed, live in some poverty in the backwoods of the USA. I don’t think where, exactly, is mentioned. Nor is when. By the absence of cell phones I assume it is set at least twenty years ago. However, the appearance of “Ol’ Red”, the family’s ancient pick-up truck (a character in its own right) means the story is certainly not pre-WWII. How millennial youngsters will identify with protagonists who have no technological toys I don’t know.

There are some resonances with other novels for youngsters, with no technological toys in them (which adults also enjoy) such as Treasure Island and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer . This story is not as historical as that. The resonances are more to do with Dom’s attitude to life: he is always in some scrape or other – accompanied and/or egged on by Reed. What they get up to after they’ve done their chores and their homework, and said their prayers, would have the Elves of Safety in a conniption if they heard about it. Dom is without any sort of built in failsafe and has a moral compass which is flaky at best. The book is partly about how he works on these aspects of his character. Dom’s love of and knowledge about the outdoors are endearing (of course, he doesn’t have a mobile phone or a computer to keep him indoors).

If your youngster shows an interest in reading this book I would impress on him or her at the outset that these escapades are NOT TO BE TRIED AT HOME. The same goes for you: you’ll spend a month under the thumbs of the chiropractor if you do.

This is an interesting book, which maintains a good pace. There is always something happening, which is often jaw dropping.

Unfortunately I can’t tell you anything about chapter or section length, due to the formatting of the copy I was working from.

** I received an electronic copy of this book for review purposes **

 

Published by Judi Moore

Hi there, I hope you find something to interest you here. In December 2017 I published my fourth book – ‘Wonders will never cease’. It’s a satirical campus novel set in the fictional Ariel University in 1985. If you enjoyed Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse novels, Willy Russell’s ‘Educating Rita’, David Lodge’s campus novels or Malcolm Bradbury’s ‘The History Man’ back in the day, you may enjoy revisiting the ivory towers of 1980s’ academe thirty years on. See what you think. “It is December, 1985. The year is winding gently towards its close until Fergus Girvan, a Classicist at Ariel University, finds his research has been stolen by the man who is also seeking to steal his daughter. But which man is, actually, the more unscrupulous of the two? And is there hope for either of them?” In the autumn of 2015 I published a volume of short fiction: 'Ice Cold Passion and other stories'. I am also the author of novella 'Little Mouse', a shortish piece of historical fiction which I published in 2014 and, a sequel to it, 'Is death really necessary?', my eco thriller set in the near future and which, confusingly, I published in 2009. All the books are available from all good online bookshops and FeedARead on paper, and as e-books on Kindle. On a semi-regular basis, and about a month after the event, I post here reviews which I do for Big Al & Pals, the premier reviewer of indie books, based in the States. My interests tend to thrillers, SF, magic realism and other quirky stuff. On this blog are also posted the reviews I did for Leighton Buzzard Music Club over some five years up to the end of 2015. LBMC present annual seasons of eight monthly chamber music concerts at the Library Theatre in Leighton Buzzard, Bucks. They select young musicians just beginning to make their name - and the concerts are usually magnificent. I was very proud to be associated with them. I review other music, books, theatre and exhibitions which I've particularly enjoyed.

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