THE KIDNAPPER'S CONUNDRUM
While a shady Drumwick lawyer builds her case against him, Simon works on a case of his own with best friend, Abby – a ten-year-old interested in anything that lets her skip school. With necklace in hand, the duo snake through the alleyways and secret passages of Drumwick, searching for clues. Instead, they encounter everything from crawling snickets to spotted honknuckles, but the mystery deepens when Simon discovers a hidden store-house belonging to the real kidnapper. The criminal is nearby and desperate to find the necklace. Turns out the pendant is much more than a piece of old, broken jewellery.
Between conspiratorial conversations, dodging cops, and destroying an entire library, Simon is thrown into some serious detective work. There's a culprit to catch, and if Simon can’t clear his name before someone else goes missing, he might never see his family again.
Thirty-seven minutes ago, a bush winked. Or blinked. Simon looked away too fast to be sure. If monsters lived in Galloway forest, despite insisting they surely and definitely did not exist, Simon thought it best not to make eye contact.
“Surprised to see you this far from the RV,” his father called.
“I was trying to find a good place to read.” Simon placed his unopened book on a crumbled stone wall. Granted, picnic tables and benches were sparse in Rubble City Campgrounds with the large boulders everywhere. “Hey dad, Emily’s just imagining her night monsters right?”
His father laughed. “Of course she is. You went through a similar period yourself.” A tall man, Jim Hardt had more hair on the sides of his head than on top, and a permanent watch tan decorated his wrist. In one hand he carried two fishing poles, both twice Simon’s height, and in the other, a rusty tackle box. “You thought something lived under your bed.”
“At least that’s normal,” Simon grumbled. Seeing creatures in the woods, especially during the day, was not normal.
“Fishing might get your mind off it.” His father held up the poles. They were quite loved – and bent. “The nice old couple let me borrow them.”
Simon’s uneasiness melted. Fishing happened in the water, and monsters couldn’t hide there. “Can I dig for the worms?”