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Smoke Screen

Bernard Ashley

Average Review Rating Average Rating 6/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Usborne Publishing

Published : 2006

Copyright : Bernard Ashley 2006

ISBN-10 : PB 0-7460-6791-7
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-7460-6791-8

Publisher's Write-Up

This is an electrifying thriller about the highly topical subject of people-smuggling, from one of the UK's leading children's authors.

Ellie has been scared of water since her mum drowned, so when her dad decides to move to a pub by a canal in East London, Ellie is afraid. But she soon thinks there's something more disturbing about the pub than just its setting. Something is going on at the weekly music night and Ellie and new friend, Flo are determined to find out what, despite warnings to back off. The music night is clearly a smokescreen for something, but what? Bundled from country to country on a harrowing journey from a tiny Chinese village with the false promise of a better life in England, Song Fang Yin knows the truth. If she can escape her captors, she could help Ellie expose it.

About the Author:
Bernard Ashley is one of the UK's most renowned children's authors. After 30 years as a head teacher in South London schools, Bernard is now a full-time writer. His first novel The Trouble with Donovan Croft won the 1974 'Other Award'. Bernard has also been shortlisted for The Carnegie Medal three times, most notably for Little Soldier in 1999.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Jessica (280211) Rating (6/10)

Review by Jessica
Rating 6/10
Bernard Ashley has written a shadowy tale about women being smuggled into Britain from China. A story that is cleverly composed with a title that has a double meaning.

When Ellie Searle moves to East London so that her father, ex-footballer Chris, can run the pub called Regent’s Arms, she immediately becomes aware of a strange atmosphere. This atmosphere is even odder on a Friday evening when singer, Ivy Stardust, performs for the pub’s punters. Stage speakers are erected but never used - Ellie suspects it is cigarette smuggling and that the speakers are used to transport cigarettes into the pub but sadly there is something more serious happening.

Amongst all of this her friend’s mother is getting more and more close to her own father. Ellie is uncomfortable, especially as it’s only been a while since her mother was found dead in a bath, thus resulting in Ellie’s biggest phobia - water.

Will Ellie uncover in time the awful truth of what is really happening? And how will her father cope with the pub which doesn’t exactly attract many customers.

A fairly reasonable read. It didn’t really hold my attention as much as I’d hoped as I felt the characters in places became a little wooden. Although Ellie is quite realistic I felt some of the other characters didn’t come alive as much. The way in which the locations are described is quite accurate. Not the best book of its genre but definitely readable.
Jessica (28th February 2011)

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