Crusher is Niall Leonard's debut novel.
Finn Maguire returns home from his dead end job at a fast food place to find his house dark. Although it's just him and his dad since his mother ran off five years ago, his Dad usually waits up for him. Finn finds his dad inside - bludgeoned to death at his desk.
The cops arrive but rather than treat Finn as a victim, they see him as the suspect. When the cops are forced to release him, Finn decides to find answers himself. And his first steps lead him to a London crime boss known as The Guvnor. What was his father into? As Finn searchs further, it becomes clear that someone does not want him to find answers.....
Crusher caught my interest easily and held onto it. The pacing is quick, the whodunit is not overly obvious (there are lots of suspects and red herrings) and Finn was a strong protagonist. He's not an overachiever, but rather an underdog. Other characters are easily picked out - bad guy, crooked cop, mysterious girl and some others. There are some serendipitous coincidences that help the narrative along, but I was willing to overlook these as I really wanted to know what happened next!
Leonard has written an interesting debut. Should it be classed as YA fiction based on the age of the protagonist - 17? Interestingly, one online website does and another doesn't. I wouldn't recommend it to the very young YA reader, there are some 'older' situations in the book. Many 'big name' authors have entered into the YA market lately. Fans of Harlan Coben's Mickey Bolitar series would enjoy this title. A sequel is in the works - I'll be interested to see where Finn goes from here.
Leonard wrote Crusher as part of 2011's NaNoWriMo (and he was the winner that year). He's also a screenwriter and that action movie feel is present in Crusher. And, because some of the promo literature mentions it, I will too. Leonard is the husband of author E.L. James. You can find Leonard on Twitter.