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Close to the Heel by Norah McClintock

Close to the Heel

by Norah McClintock

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This is the third book I've read in this series which purports that the books may be read in any order. So far, I completely agree with that premise and am enjoying picking out books in my own order. I picked this book next because the previous two books had mentioned this seventh grandson that no one knew and they had been asked to get in touch with him but they didn't. Also, I have not read this author before, but I have always wanted to as she is an award-winning Canadian author of YA mystery/thrillers. I was hooked with the first chapter which uses the device of starting at the end where the main character is in a life and death situation. Then the story starts from the beginning to eventually tell us how he ended up there. I loved the main character, Rennie and really enjoyed the Iceland setting. I haven't read many books set in that country that aren't adult thrillers. The book was quite intense and starts off mysterious almost from the beginning as Rennie stumbles upon both a mysterious death and disappearance. This book doesn't really concentrate on the grandfather as the other two did. His story is there but it's just in the background; the main focus here are the crimes and Rennie's relationship with his dad. The mystery was good quality; I never know what to expect from a YA mystery since I read so many adult thrillers. However I was caught up in the story and found myself figuring out the mystery only steps ahead of Rennie, including the twist ending ... until the author sprung a second twist that threw Rennie (and me!) for a loop. I love a surprise like that; it makes for a great mystery!

No other grandsons were mentioned in this book at all so my next pick in the series is really going to be up to topic or author preference. ( )
  ElizaJane | Nov 20, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Norah McClintock's fast-paced, action-packed novel Close to the Heel is one of the intriguing linked stories in a series of seven books, all written by different authors. Unfortunately, I haven't yet had the chance to read the other titles, but Close to the Heel is a deliciously good entry, an exciting adventure for young readers. ( )
  SherNor | Jun 22, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The concept of the Seven Series is what attracted me to request this book. It is basically 7 different and standalone stories all about one grandfather tasking each of his seven grandchildren with some world broadening adventure ( I haven't read any of the others in series so I can't say how similar/different they are to this one.)

Better synopsis have been written, so I won't go into detail, but I will say that I really enjoyed the fast paced adventure in Close to the Heel. I feel McClintock is an excellent writer of young adult mysteries and I will certainly be passing this along to my younger siblings to read. I think it can be not quite as appealing to people who enjoy more in-depth, world building storytelling, but that isn't a common theme in young adult fiction anyway so don't be surprised that you won't find it here. Some of the plot lines are a bit "out there" but I am all about suspension of disbelief when I read so that isn't an issue for me personally. ( )
  breadnbutter | May 14, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I found myself reaching for the other books when I was done with Close to the Heel, but I don't have them yet! Very nice crime story, overall. Will definitely go and purchase the other books in this series.
  Jonathan.Holman | Feb 12, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Close to the Heel follows the protagonist, Rennie, who is given a mission by his late grandfather, whom he hardly knew. His grandfather wants him to go to Iceland to bury an important but mysterious item from his past. However, this seemingly simple mission turns out to be much more complex – and dangerous – than Rennie ever thought. As he learns more about his grandfather’s past and the purpose of his mission, he realizes that pursuit of the truth can literally kill you. Part adventure story, part murder mystery, this book has many twists and turns to keep the reader turning the pages.

Despite the fast-moving plot, though, this book did not impress me. I felt like the characters were very one-dimensional, and I could not relate to any of them. I also think there were too many characters to follow – especially with unfamiliar, foreign names. In addition, the ending seemed abrupt to me, and I had to re-read certain passages to understand what really happened in the book once the truth was revealed at the end. Overall, this was just an average book to me, and I probably won’t be reading any more books in this series. ( )
  shootingstar2428 | Nov 14, 2012 |
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At the request of his late grandfather, Rennie goes to Iceland to right an old wrong, and gets drawn into investigating a murder.

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