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Incinerator    by Niall Leonard order for
by Niall Leonard
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Incinerator follows Crusher as the second in Niall Leonard's searing YA mystery series starring dyslexic yet enterprising Finn 'Crusher' Maguire. Though billed YA, it is really most suitable for older teens and adult mystery readers.

In Crusher, Finn was a suspect in his beloved father's murder and was reunited with, and betrayed by, the mother who had deserted them years before. He was also betrayed by teen Zoe, uncovered a ring of sex traffickers, and inherited a small fortune.

Now, at the age of seventeen, he has gone into partnership with his old boxing instructor Delroy (who was a 'huge black bear of a man' before his stroke), running a successful gym. One of their clients is Finn's lovely lawyer, Nicky. Finn has a big crush on Nicky, despite the age difference and the fact that she's married.

Life is good ... until suddenly it isn't any more. Seems that Delroy borrowed his stake in the gym from Sherwood, a notoriously vicious money lender. Trying to help, Finn only digs them both in deeper and deeper, especially after Nicky disappears with all his money.

When Nicky's hot younger sister Susan shows up, they work together to try to track down Nicky - if she didn't leave voluntarily, who is responsible? Her husband, a past client? And who was threatening her? Finn enlists geeky Zoe to do some research, but will he ever be able to trust her?

Why the title? Arson, past and present, races through this exciting plot, and strikes close to home. People Finn cares for are hurt badly before he stumbles on a human trafficking ring and meets the man who runs it - then the Turk makes him an offer he can't refuse.

Incinerator ends on a cliffhanger, which left me keen to find out what will come next. I enjoy Finn Maguire's exploits and can't wait for more!

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