Monday, May 04, 2015

Ask the Dark by Henry Turner

This mystery is set in the south.  We know this by the dialect spoken by main character Billy Zeets.
The dialect slows the story down.  Without it this could be an ALA quick pick.  Billy prefers wandering around late at night to school.  He's had a few run ins with the law as a result, but nothing major.  His mother passed a couple of years earlier.  His father was a house painter and was injured so is on disability.  His sister is not especially school or work oriented.  She has a boyfriend, not known to have a good reputation.  It looks as if the family will lose the house.  Billy starts working anyway he can to get enough to save the house, an impossible task.  So, he is mowing yards, helping with local deliveries, doing other odd jobs.  While he is working local boys begin disappearing.  One turns up dead as two more go missing.  At school Billy was tormented constantly, now one of his tormentors has gone missing.  Billy did not really intend to investigate the disappearances even though the reward money would bail the family out.  He just was out and about so much he began to put together things he saw, ask a few questions, then in a brave if fool hardy move checks out his theory and gets taken himself.  The story resolves very satisfactorily.  I enjoyed it.
jdw 5.4.15


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