Synopses & Reviews
In this allegorical coming of age novel 14 year old Charlie Law struggles to stay alive in a war zone amid prejudice and tough decisions. Charlie lives in Little Town where a corrupt regime rules through fear and tyranny and criminals have all the power. When he befriends Pavel Duda whose family fled the neighboring Old Country both boys experience culture shock but become inseparable. Then Old Country bombs and occupies Little Town disrupting the social and civil structures. To survive Charlie and Pav become indebted to the powerful Big Man a crime lord with access to food and medicine but when his demands for repayment become unthinkable Charlie has to take a stand. Conaghan (When Mr. Dog Bites) presents a compelling situation with no easy answers; it’s easy to sympathize with Charlie’s moral and ethical dilemmas and the dichotomy between Old Country and Little Town could fuel provocative discussions. However the generic ambiguous nature of the setting and conflict—while striving for universality—can be distracting in its lack of detail giving readers little grounding. Ages 14–up. Agent: Ben Illis Ben Illis Agency. (Sept.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
Fourteen-year-old Charlie Law has lived in Little Town, on the border with Old Country, all his life. He knows the rules: no going out after dark; no drinking; no litter; no fighting. You don't want to get on the wrong side of the people who run Little Town. When he meets Pavel Duda, a refugee from Old Country, the rules start to get broken. Then the bombs come, and the soldiers from Old Country, and Little Town changes forever.
Sometimes, to keep the people you love safe, you have to do bad things. As Little Town's rules crumble, Charlie is sucked into a dangerous game. There's a gun, and a bad man, and his closest friend, and his dearest enemy.
Charlie Law wants to keep everyone happy, even if it kills him. And maybe it will . . . But he's got to kill someone else first.