Grisham, John. Theodore Boone: The Abduction
June 6th 2011, Dutton Juvenile
Theodore's friend April, who comes from a wildly dysfunctional family, disappears from her house in the middle of the night. She's been corresponding with a distant relative who has just escaped from jail, Leeper. When he appears in town, and the police head right to him. He claims to have information, but only if the police cut him a deal for his other crimes. Meanwhile, April's drugged out mother is wild with anguish, and Theodore is not happy with the police investigation, and he's having trouble concentrating in school. He and his friends try to interview people and post flyers, but the police (wrongly) tell them that they can't. After a body is found in the river, Theodore knows he needs to step up his game. He decides to track down April's rock band touring father and see if maybe April is with him. With his friend Chase covering for him, Theodore takes off with his uncle to try to locate April.
Strengths: This had its moments, and aside from murder mysteries, abduction mysteries are probably the second most popular in my library. This is fairly fast paced, decently written, and Grisham doesn't condescend to younger readers.
Weaknesses: While this was better than Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, it was still super sad. Of course Theodore is devastated when he thinks his friend is dead. I found it hard to believe that the police didn't first hunt down April's father, so the ending fell a bit flat for me. The subplot with Leeper never made that much sense, either, other than to distract the police.
I got this at the thrift store for 40 cents, so I will go ahead and put it in the collection for my mystery lovers.