Reviewed by Craig Sisterson
First-time Kiwi crime writer St John, who has written in other genres under another name, explodes onto the scene with this dark and thrilling young adult tale. Jack “Spade” Miller is a wayward teenager left looking for answers when his ex-girlfriend Ella Lewis is found dead.
While others lay some of the blame for the apparent suicide on Spade, he can’t believe Ella would kill herself, and sets out to find the truth. A dangerous quest that scratches at the veneer of stable suburbia and takes him deep into the Auckland underworld, where nefarious deeds are committed behind closed doors.
St John isn’t scared to take readers into some pretty dark and nasty places in this terrific debut; although it’s tabbed as a young adult read, with a teenaged ‘hero’, there are some very adult themes. Spade is a compelling centerpiece in a fearlessly told tale packed with intriguing characters. A new voice well worth listening to.