June 18, 2018

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The Ruinous Sweep by Tim Wynne-Jones | SLJ Review

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redstarWYNNE-JONES, Tim. The Ruinous Sweep. 400p. Candlewick. Jun. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780763697457.

Gr 8 Up –Donovan “Turn” Turner is in a coma after being critically injured in a hit-and-run. Bee, Turn’s girlfriend, is by his side and determined to figure out what happened. After the police interview Bee, she learns that they aren’t just looking for the runaway driver, but that Turn’s father is dead and they suspect his son. Turn is caught in a world between life and death, but is able to give Bee some clues as to what transpired. The problem is the clues make it sound like Turn is indeed his father’s killer. Bee knows he could never murder and decides to not share all her information with the police. Instead she puts the pieces of the puzzle together on her own. Taking inspiration from Dante’s Inferno, Wynne-Jones presents an ambitious novel that is grim and suspenseful to the end. There are quick pivots in time—from the recent past to Bee’s present to Turn’s present and back again—as well as switches in narration between the two. Turn’s experience in purgatory (or maybe the environs of hell?) is harrowing and confusing, adding to this page-turner that explores loyalty, guilt, anger, and redemption. VERDICT This murder mystery is highly recommended and would make for a great book-club read.–Emily Moore, Camden County Library System, NJ

This review was published in the School Library Journal June 2018 issue.

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