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Spiked!    by Sandra Glover order for
by Sandra Glover
Order:  USA  Can
Andersen, 2006 (2005)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Spiked! is an engrossing YA mystery, set in the U.K.. Smart, sensible and pretty Debra Cardew and her friends have just received their final results and plan a year end pub party, something they haven't told their parents about. But, unbeknownst to them, a secret enemy has his own unpleasant plans, that he shares with the reader.

Debra's dad is the school's no-nonsense Deputy Head, and her mum is a newspaper editor. Both have made enemies. Debra's charming crush, Marc Cavendish is clearly not worthy of her, and feels that her dad always picks on him. Her friend Miriam's family have been inundated with hate mail after the paper's coverage of Uncle Gordon's child porn conviction. History teacher Allan Mason almost lost his job over too close a relationship with his students. Stefan has stalked Debra's elder sister, who has no interest in him. And then there's Tim Simmonds, a photographer who drinks too much and has a dark secret.

We see someone drug Debra and kidnap her as she leaves the party. He plans to keep her for a while to upset her parents' ordered lives, and perhaps to do worse. Though we share the perpetrator's thoughts (and enjoyment of the drama), we don't know his identity, and Sandra Glover cleverly shines the torch of suspicion across every possibility. We see the devastation in the lives of Debra's friends and family, and how her friend Beth tries hard to find out who did it, and as a result faces danger herself.

Spiked! is something unusual in the YA genre, a gripping mystery with a surprising conclusion. Glover does not downplay the effects of fear and violence on all involved, making for a credible and absorbing read.

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