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The International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year:

Bonechiller by Graham McNamee
ISBN: 978-0-340-88219-1
Hodderchildrens (March 2009)
Sam North review

Graham McNamee is already popular in Canada and deserves to be here in the UK. Bonechiller is an exciting Canadian thriller that is pretty damn scary and all too real. Small town Canada is pretty terrifying most times, what with the extreme weather, everyone going crazy on account of boredom. When kids come up against strange pawprints that fit no known animal and you got that thing going where you know some hungry beast is tracking you on the way home and there’s already a kid missing… you've got to take it seriously.

There’s monsters you can see and there's mythical beasts no one sees and then there’s the ones that the old timers say never existed, but you know they do and they are out to get you. That’s the chill in Bonechiller.

There’s half crazy Pike who’s clearly destined to screw up in life, Danny who is half way in love with Ash, whose got this first nation Ojibwa thing going on and she’s tougher and smarter than him and that has to hurt. Dan lives with his Dad who is caretaker at the Harvest Cove Marina, only it’s winter and there’s nothing to care about except ice. And the monster. Howie, the nerd friend at school is the swat who knows everything and he’s pretty keen to get a look at the pawprints of Danny’s monster that stung him on the way home. He wants to categorise it if he can. But this monster gets inside your head; it teases and then calls you out… That’s what happened to Ray Dyson missing from the town, just wandered out of the hospital in his jim-jams and vanished. Like the monster was summoning him.

Dan, Ash, Pike and Howie got to deal with thing before any one else goes missing or gets eaten, but it’s a challenge they may regret. Monsters have very sharp teeth and they bite, you got seven days before it drives you crazy. The tell tale sign is the blue mark of its sting, the poison getting you ripe, getting you ready so you smell just right and all the time you are getting colder and colder, just the way an ice monster likes it. That's what's happening to Danny. Everyday a little colder and it's a race against time to find the monster and kill it.
But where is it? How do you find a myth?

This is a terrific tale with great young characters battling a fantastic cunning monster that only they can see. Bonechiller is perfect bedtime reading but better check under the bed and lock the door whilst your at it.
Great stuff.

© Sam North May 2009 author of Mean Tide

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