One of the best Young Adult books of 2014
Martin Chilton, The Telegraph
… a fast-paced and richly imagined adventure
Julia Eccleshare, Lovereading4kids
… one of the best thrillers for 12-plus I’ve read since Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series … Outstanding
Amanda Craig, The New Statesman
The Castle combines a well-drawn lead character, a fast-paced plot and something for a young reader to think about – this novel is well worth reading.
Sue Creed, We Love This Book
Nothing can stop the irrepressible Peta Jones: she had me cheering her on in her seemingly impossible quest from the very first chapter. Of course it’s hard not to love somebody who has that ring tone.
Teri Terry, author
Shortlisted for the Oxfordshire Book Award, 2015
Longlisted for the St Helens School Library Service Secondary Award 2016
Available to buy from Lovereading4kids.co.uk here
I love adventures. I grew up watching thrillers with my family and devouring mystery stories, from The Secret Seven to The Count of Monte Cristo. Travelling around the world with my army dad, action and adventure were as much a part of my life as fashion and music, so at some stage I was going to have to write my own adventure, with a girl at the heart of it, and here it is.
The Castle is a story about a girl called Peta Jones, who has a special connection with her dad. He chose her unusual name, he’s a decorated army hero and he’s always been her hero too. But now he’s dead. Supposedly. Peta doesn’t believe it, despite the ashes that were returned to her mother from Iraq.
When she gets a strange warning phone message and odd things start happening to her at home, Peta’s convinced her father is alive and trying to contact her. She’s is not the kind of girl to give up easily. She’ll do anything to find him. Any stupid, dangerous thing.
Next thing she knows, she’s heading (unintentionally) for an island in the Mediterranean. The truth about her family lies hidden there. So do a few other secrets, none of which it’s safe to discover …
Peta is the girl I always was in my head, growing up with a father in the army, surrounded by soldiers who did dangerous stuff for a living. I was convinced I could do as well as them if I had to. It’s also been influenced along the way by a lot of brave teenagers in the news. One of my all-time favourite words is semi-autobiographical, and this book is more of it than you might think. My own father, I hasten to add, is a lot less dangerous to know than Peta’s ever was. I have never been a stowaway on a superyacht. Beyond that, you’ll have to guess …
Read the first chapter here!
And here’s a video of me reading from Chapter 2
And another one from Chapter 19 …
(And if you’re wondering what the whirring noise in the background is,
it’s my laptop fan going crazy! Just think of it as atmospheric sound effects.)