Ruinous Sweep
by Wynne-Jones, Tim

Tossed out of car onto a remote highway with no memory of the past 24 hours, Donovan causes a fatal accident trying to flag down help and is forced to assume the dead person's identity to prove he is innocent of murder, in a suspenseful page-turner partly inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy. By the award-winning author of Blink & Caution.

Tim Wynne-Jones is the accomplished author of numerous young adult novels, including The Emperor of Any Place, which earned seven starred reviews, Blink & Caution, winner of the 2012 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and The Uninvited. In 2012 he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for his services to literature. Tim Wynne-Jones lives in Ontario.

Donovan is running for his life after causing a fatal accident. He keeps trying to contact his girlfriend, Beatrice, to tell her what happened, in hopes that she can help him get out of trouble. Meanwhile, Bee is doing just that, fighting to clear his name in the murder of his own father. In flashbacks-which depict a distorted sense of reality-readers slowly begin to discover who Donovan really is as a boyfriend, a son, and a person. Fans will learn of an earlier ultimatum given to Donovan by Bee, leading to his decision to break away from his father in a confrontation with disastrous results. Fans will love putting together the puzzle pieces to figure out what is really going on here on multiple levels. Some may find the ending bittersweet, but the heart of the latest from the acclaimed Wynne-Jones (The Emperor of Any Place, 2015) is refreshing. A literary thriller with riveting characters, infused with just a touch of magical realism. Grades 8-11. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

A teen boy with anger issues, critically injured in a car accident, is suspected of murdering his alcoholic father and staunchly defended by his high school girlfriend, Bee.The first part of Wynne-Jones' (Secret Agent Man Goes Shopping for Shoes, 2016, etc.) novel has a hallucinatory quality. Occasional chapters describe Bee's vigil by Donovan's bedside in the ICU, while the bulk of the text describes Dono's travels through a nightmarish world fraught with violence and danger. A series of bizarre encounters and escapes keeps readers off-balance, unsure what details, if any, are real. In this section, similarities to Dante's Inferno may or may not resonate with teen readers. A sharp break in the narrative occurs after a dramatic event and shifts the focus to Bee and the tone from horror-inflected to whodunit. Bee's detecting efforts bear fruit, but her foolhardy risk-taking is clearly plot-driven and may frustrate some readers. Wynne-Jones' writing is smooth and compelling, an d certain images will likely linger in readers' minds. However, most characters are adults, which may distance some teens, and the motivation for the murder is both decidedly adult and not entirely convincing. Some aspects of the first section never quite connect to the rest, while the enigmatic author's note raises further questions. No racial diversity is apparent; class differences are implied. Suspenseful and complex, this will mesmerize readers patient enough to stick with it. (author's note) (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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