‘Ollie Turner was asleep when the men came. They were dressed in black and wearing balaclavas. Before Ollie knew what was happening, they pulled him from his bed and dragged him across the carpet towards the landing.’
The action starts on the very first page of new series, The Haven and doesn’t stop until the last. Abducted in the middle of the night, 13-year-old Ollie Turner and his guardian Nancy, wake up in pain on a cold, hard floor.
They don’t know where they are, and they have no idea what is going to happen next, but they are positive that it won’t be good. After Nancy pleads with Ollie to make a run for it, he finds himself careering down narrow hallways in a warehouse. He doesn’t know where he’s going until he unexpectedly runs into an older boy – Dodge.
In no time at all Ollie has been taken into the inner sanctuary of The Haven a place where kids who have nowhere else to go – the homeless, refugees, orphans – take refuge. This secret underground organisation, led by Dodge, Flea, Sol and Lily, only looks after the interests of kids – no adults allowed – particularly in a world where they are often mistreated. They look after each other and educate the next child to enter The Haven.
After the introductions it soon becomes apparent that the group are on a mission to find a number of kids that have recently gone missing. When they come up against Danny Hunter – head of the Razor Gang – Ollie manages to save the day, but they only have 24 hours to find a very important missing child – Danny’s son Harvey.
Can Ollie and the other kids from The Haven mange to find Harvey and the other missing kids? What does the infamous Maddy Sikes have to do with it and can Ollie manage to face the sewer tunnels and rats?
The Haven is the first book in a break-neck speed, thrilling, kids’ series that will appeal to lovers of Alex Rider and Cherub. It’s no surprise that award winning adult thriller writer Simon Lelic is behind the series. Reluctant readers beware: The Haven is jam packed with so much action and so many plot twists, you will not be able to put this one down and may not even notice that you’ve finished the book in one sitting.
For dedicated readers you’ll find familiar references to Lord of the Rings, The BFG and of course, Oliver Twist.
Simon Lelic is a writer of crime and thriller novels for adults – winner of the Betty Trask Award, shortlisted for the CWA Dagger Awards and the Galaxy National Book Awards. He lives in Brighton with his wife and three children. Other than his family, reading is Simon’s biggest passion. He also holds a black belt in karate, in which he trains daily.
You can follow him on Twitter @Simon_Lelic.