by John Dixon
Publishers Weekly An unusual premise makes Dixon's thriller debut a welcome series kickoff. Carl Freeman, a 16-year-old orphan, can't help himself from intervening on behalf of the bullied, and, given his boxing prowess, the results for the aggressors are often quite serious. After another such run-in, a judge sentences Carl to "a military-style boot camp," Phoenix Island, until he turns 18. The facility is worse than anything he could have imagined, with sadistic drill sergeants, violent fellow detainees, and plenty of bullies. Carl's independence earns him the enmity of a particularly cruel drill sergeant. Carl discovers a journal that suggests some of his predecessors were actually killed, indicating that something beyond tough love is going on. There are some predictable elements-Carl falls for an attractive girl with a secret-but the pacing and smooth prose will have suspense fans waiting for the next book, as well as the upcoming CBS adaptation, Intelligence. Agent: Christina Hogrebe, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved