A boy maybe twelve years old, on a bike, stopped next to Dooley, looked at the kid sprawled on the pavement and said, "Is he dead?""Yeah, I think so," Dooley said. In fact, he was sure of it because t
A boy maybe twelve years old, on a bike, stopped next to Dooley, looked at the kid sprawled on the pavement and said, "Is he dead?"
"Yeah, I think so," Dooley said. In fact, he was sure of it because there was no air going into or coming out of the lungs of the kid on the pavement. Also, the kid's open eyes were staring at nothing, and his head was twisted, as if he had turned to look at something just before he made contact with the hard surface of the path.
Right away, Dooley knows he's in trouble. For one thing he's got a record. For another, the dead kid isn't exactly a stranger - and he's no friend.
So slowly the net begins to close around 17-year-old Dooley, a troubled lone wolf who has a couple of strikes against him already. Not many are on Dooley's side; in fact at times he even wonders whether his uncle - a retired cop - thinks he's guilty again. There's a big question of trust in their uneasy relationship, and his uncle is the only one standing between Dooley and big time disaster.
The dead kid's sister Beth is someone Dooley would like to have think better of him as well - but she also suspects he's involved in the crime. And all around him are other teenagers at school and in the world he's drawn into who would like to pin him with responsibility for a growing number of murders that swirl through the city.
Norah McClintock, five-time winner of the Arthur Ellis juvenile crime award, has now moved into a different realm with a richly detailed novel aimed at older teens. Gritty, hard-edged, Dooley Takes the Fall is the first in a trilogy of mysteries about a troubled teenager struggling to free himself from the tentacles of his past and the implications of the present conspiracies that surround him.
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"She (Norah McClintock) is among the authors for young adults who simply write realistic, entertaining, tempting books. . . The book clips along speedily in a plot that's far more interesting than any video game, but its best appeals lie in its recognizable depictions of a high school life that's mainly invisible to adults, and in Dooley himself. . . Young readers - young non-readers - will recognize his voice, and they'll like it."
— The London Free Press
"McClintock, in her usual competent style, adeptly scatters clues throughout the novel to foreshadow the final unveiling. . . With well-paced action, graphic dialogue, intelligent prose, an engaging protagonist, a nice variety of secondary characters, and a compelling story, this page-turner should appeal strongly to fans of the mystery genre.
— CM Magazine
"...the author does a good job of characterization especially with Dooley and his stiffnecked uncle, a former cop, who turns out to be more sympathetic than readers might have expected."
"Dooley Takes the Fall is a superbly written, entertaining drama. The plot is well executed, and the characters and their relationships are interesting."
"This is a powerful, often harrowing novel that will appeal to those who appreciate books about people surviving in spite of grave injustices."
— School Library Journal
"McClintock walks the delicate line of making the suspicions reasonable while keeping Dooley's risky actions understandable as well. . . Mystery fans who appreciate a personal touch as much as a plot will enjoy championing this underdog detective."
— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Dooley Takes the Fall is a Canadian YA novel but as with the best that YA fiction has to offer don't let those two letters fool or scare you. This is as tough a crime novel and as good a mystery as you're likely to find anywhere anchored by one of the best characters to come along in years. . . Dooley is a great character that invokes a wide array of feeling from the reader but becomes one that you ultimately root for. . . If John Hughes wrote a crime novel it might look something like this."
— Spinetingler Magazine
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was born and raised in Montreal. Armed with a degree in history from McGill University, she has worked in the non-profit sector as an editor and writer for many years. But without doubt, Norah's passion is crime writing. A member of the Crime Writers of Canada, Norah has been the recipient of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Fiction a phenomenal 5 times.
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White Pine nominee, 2009
Spinetingler Magazine Award Nominee, 2009
Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009