Mad Dog: David Wickenden
Trust, faith and betrayals plus lies are at the heart of the novel as 14-year-old Daniel is about to take on the greater challenge of his life. Friends are hoping to enjoy their summer vacation befit school starts but someone is killing family pets who and why ? Daniel sees Mrs. Bailey and realizes someone killed her pet. He and his two friends take charge and handle calling the police and hoping to find out who did this. But this is just the beginning of what he encounters as several other kids are trying to take him down because gangs are not unusual in this area where the story takes place. Hoping to find who killed this pet and more that follows we hear the voice of the killer who is trapped in his own world due to lack of proper parent supervision and being forced to do other illegal things for his guardians. The killer is a young teen and Daniel is now on his radar. His friends agreed that they need to try and stop him, but he is almost invisible.
Daniel is out doing something and finds more dead animals and then a hidden bunker bringing the police into it and showing them the carnage. But in trying to do what’s right he is blindsided by his friends, betrayed and arrested by the police for the exact act that the killer is guilty of and is glad he might be taking the heat for the murders.
Dealing with the police and spending a night in juvie was scary but being betrayed by his own parents and others really hit him hard as they did not defend him in court, let him be sentenced and his punishment given all the time Daniel felt alone and betrayed. His friend Susie is loyal and although she is banned from seeing hints he refuses to believe he is guilty. His friends told the police he is the killer but when Daniel corners Lenny what he learns sends him in a dangerous path to find the killer and prove his innocence.
When dealing with his family in front of the police blasts his father and mother for not believing him and to his surprise his sister comes to his defense.
Daniel needs to find a way to prove his innocence and the author takes him on a journey that will place him in the crosshairs of the killer, the police looking for him as his only recourse is to run away from home after proving to his parents and the police he is innocent but at what cost?
Author Dave Wickenden brings to light Mahoney issues that teens face such as bullying, peer pressure, gangs or just being part of a popular group and what happens when fun it sometimes anger gets in the way of clear thinking. Teens often go off halfcocked and do not think about the consequences of their actions.
Staking out the killer’s house he sees him trying to get rid of a white bag what Daniel finds inside is shocking and sends him in a trail for help to prove he is innocent. Mrs. Bailey his first teacher agrees to certain things and an old veteran called The Bat is tough, smart and manages to get another tough kid named Diego on board with their plan to take down a killer.
Daniel is resourceful and needs help, but Mrs. Bailey is the start trusting the Bat and enlisting Diego to help might prove dangerous but allowing Daniel to form a plan to track down the killer. Things escalate out of control and when the killer learns that the bag of skulls and bones are in Mrs. Bailey’s possession the unthinkable happens. From playing games at the local activity center and dealing with local gangs the author set the stage for the events that followed. The graphic and vividly depicted scenes of the animal cruelty, the torture and the stolen property set the stage for Daniel’s arrest but with the right plan and the backing of his two friends who explained why they betrayed him, the police and his friend Susie , he might be proven innocent. But the killer is still out there, and Susie is his target will Daniel be able to save her before another life is taken?
Determined to stop the killer Daniel places himself in danger and needs to find a way to get Susie out of his grasp. Added in the killer has attacked two more people and Daniel will not stop until the takes him down himself. The final scenes are filled with violence, fear, attacks and an unusual way of taking down a dangerous killer. You won’t believe the weapon the author has Daniel use and the way he ties his story and that of Mrs. Bailey’s husband’s story and their pasts as well as his present will make you want to know where Daniel is headed for next.
Filled with mystery , suspense, teen issues, family loyalties and disloyalties author Dave Wickenden gives readers younger and older much pause for thought as Daniel Dixon takes on a dangerous killer and an entire police department to prove that Mad Dog Dixon is not to be fooled with. A heartbreaking story and yet heartwarming as you get to know Daniel in many different lights, but one think is for sure he is a loyal and trusted friend and demands the same from those that want to call him a friend. Lies, betrayals, friendships and one 14-year-old teen that will go places in the future. The setting is Sudbury, Ontario in 1975 and the town is filled with young teens that are out for trouble, pranks, and yet when you get to know them they are no different than some teens today. Bold, daring, straight forward, fearless yet fearful at times Daniel Dixon is a strong character that readers will identify with and others will admire for his courage to stand up for himself and for others.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews