After the First Death

After the First Death

3.72 (2,793 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
By (author) 

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Description

A bus load of children held hostage by terrorists is at the heart of this novel. The background is the hearts and minds of those drawn into the web of deceit and intrigue surrounding this intrigue. Characters include the 16-year-old terrorist, Miro, a boy with no past and no future.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 112 x 181 x 17mm | 146g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Puffin Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0141300531
  • 9780141300535

Review Text

A tough, double-barreled thriller which immerses readers, alternately, in the unexplained torment of young Ben Marchand and his father, who await each other in a prep school dorm, and in the tension aboard a hijacked school bus diverted to a rickety unused bridge. The driver is a young girl with a nervous bladder, her guard a teenage terrorist (his mentor nearby in a van) who is looking forward to his initiation: his first kill. Early on, one of the tranquilized child passengers dies of a drug overdose, and after the first death there are many others: three of the four terrorists are eventually shot; the wariest, most promising of the children is killed in retaliation for the first of the three; a soldier gets his while participating in a rescue attack; and then, crouching with him in the woods when it's almost over, the girl makes a false play for the young gunman's emotions and he shoots her. (We leave him, stepping off the last page, preparing to kill again for a getaway car.) Ben's death comes later, at his own hands, after we learn that he had been sent as envoy to the terrorists and set up by his father, a general in charge of negotiations, to "betray" his country with false information. Cormier does not so much refuse to mourn as refuse to compromise - which his merciless choice of victims and his tight-lipped projection of the Army side makes smashingly clear. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Rating details

2,793 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 26% (713)
4 36% (1,007)
3 27% (768)
2 7% (209)
1 3% (96)
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