Synopses & Reviews
Matt is being punished for a crime he saw, but didn't commit. Instead of being locked up, he is being sent to the middle of nowhere to live with a new foster mom, as part of a government scheme called the Leaf Project.
But Matt's new home provides anything but peace and quiet. His new guardian is involved in very sinister things...and the whole town seems to be on her side. Everybody who tries to help Matt winds up disappearing...or dead. The truth is much bigger than Matt or the town but Matt is the only person who can stop the ultimate evil from being unleashed.
"Horowitz (the Alex Rider
series) unveils a thoroughly creepy new tale with this first entry in the Gatekeepers series. The novel opens as 14-year-old Matt Freeman reluctantly helps an older friend break into a warehouse. A frequent truant (he has lived with his aunt since his parents were killed in a car accident), Matt's problems grow exponentially worse when he finds himself charged as an accessory to assault after his friend stabs a security guard during the failed burglary. Matt is offered a chance to participate in the LEAF Program (Liberty and Education Achieved Through Fostering), which sends troubled youths to rural settings where 'there are fewer temptations.' In the custody of severe, stern Mrs. Deverill, Matt must clean the pigsty among other chores. But his tasks pale compared to the gathering threat in the village of Lesser Malling. Though he tries to escape, Matt finds his attempts thwarted by unseen forces, and he soon realizes that his presence in Lesser Malling is no accident. Among Mrs. Deverill's belongings he makes a chilling discovery: 'The photograph was black-and-white, taken with a telephoto lens....With a sense of horror and sickness, he realized he was looking at a picture of himself. This was his parents' funeral. Six years ago.' Sinister magic melds with modern technology, and Matt's few allies are killed off one by one. Horowitz's talent for building suspense is as strong as ever, and this unnatural tale, which descends into ancient evils, should attract a strong following. Ages 12-up. (June)
" Publishers Weekly
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"[This book] has it all mystery, suspense, conspiracies, occult elements and science gone amuck and...it all works....In this page-turner, Horowitz constantly jacks up the tension....Go. Visit. Have an exhilarating read." Kirkus Reviews
"Horowitz...ratchets things up a notch....Horowitz's vivid descriptions are not for the fainthearted. It's what's inside all the thrills, however, that makes the book so strong: characters that readers will care about and root for." Booklist (Starred Review)
"This powerful struggle between good and evil is a real page-turner." School Library Journal
After witnessing a crime, Matt is sent to live with a new foster mom, as part of a government scheme called the Leaf Project. But Matt's new guardian is involved in very sinister things, and the whole town seems to be on her side.
About the Author
Anthony Horowitz is the New York Times bestselling author of The Gatekeepers series, Raven's Gate, Evil Star, Nightrise, and Necropolis, as well as the Alex Rider series, which includes Stormbreaker, Point Blank, Skeleton Key, Eagle Strike, Scorpia, Arc Angel, and Snakehead. He lives in London.