AUTHOR = TIM PEGLER
GENRE = GROWING UP, SURVIVAL, GHOSTS
INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 9, 10
Dan should feel lucky to be alive – of the 5 teens in the car he is the only one to have survived a horror smash. And this is not the first time he has escaped death. So the meaning of the title becomes painfully clear early in the novel. Through a series of flashbacks, we gradually learn about Dan’s escapes from death and the circumstances around this most recent car acident. Dan admits early on that he hasn’t told the police the full story so we are intrigued to find out why he still feels so guilty – and how a kid who seems to be a pretty decent young man could have had a part to play in the horror of that night.
Dan is spending the hols recovering from the accident with his parents, twin sister, Mel and her friend Pip, staying at a lighthouse on the coast. As he is restricted by his broken leg and crutches, Dan is often confined to home base and starts to read the old lighthouse log where another miscarriage of justice appears to have occurred – is it ghosts from the past or more recent times that are disturbing Dan? The two stories are cleverly woven together and offer interesting parallels.
And will Dan’s burgeoning friendship with Pip develop into something more? Or could he ruin this too?
This is a thoroughly compelling book – from page one the reader will be caught up in events and be keen to learn the truths that are revealed at novel’s end – to resolve the mysteries from the past and recent times. Dan is a likeable young man and his journey provides an interesting perpspective on an all too common occurrence – road accidents caused by inexperience, drink and speed. The cover is enticing and the flag signals at the beginning of each chapter are a clever device given the novel’s location.
Highly Recommended (dma) ****