This book review is way overdue. A couple years ago, my friend, Gabbie, recommended the Code Of Silence trilogy to me. She let me borrow her two books, (unfortunately I had to wait till the choose your own book week in my Homeschool literature class to read Back Before Dark, the third book in the trilogy), and then I had to wait and get the third book from the library. I absolutely love this series!!!!!!!
WARNING! SPOILERS! DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE GOING TO READ THE BOOK! HAVE YOUR PARENT DO IT! MAJOR SPOILERS! LIKE SERIOUSLY! IF YOU READ, THIS WILL RUIN THE BOOK BECAUSE YOU WILL KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!
Code of Silence is a wonderful book series for teenagers written by Tim Shoemaker. These books are murder mysteries (note that only in the last book is a murder committed. The first book is a robbery/attempted murder, and the second book is a kidnapping) from a teenage Christian worldview. All of these books are set in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, except Beneath The Surface, which is set in Geneva Lake, Wisconsin. Note that the worst word used in the series is “h***” by an adult. There is not really any swearing and no romance-y stuff. The kids are Christians, and most of what they do is through a Christian worldview. These books are written for Junior High and High schoolers. I would say, however, if your middle schooler gets scared easily, don’t read it. This series has covered a few middle school and high school topics, and I discuss what they are below.
The first book, like I said, is a robbery/attempted murder at Frank-n-Stines, a fictional restaurant in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. After witnessing the robbery, Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy – despite Hiro’s misgivings – make a code of silence to not reveal they were there because the robbers saw Cooper and took his house key. They learned later that the man thought to be dead was actually in a coma, and the robbers had tried to kill him because he knew who they were. Now they are faced with an extremely difficult choice. Do they stay silent and wait for the police to catch the robbers before they learn Frank is still alive? Or do they tell the truth and hope that the police can catch the robbers before they get to them? How do they know what to do when both options have a price? Cooper lies through this whole book, but, there is a consequence and it is big. As in they get caught – and by the wrong people. This book also talks about how lying can trap you. After the story is over, Mr. Shoemaker has a section that talks about lies and what they do to you. This book is an absolute thriller. I love it. It leaves me in suspense and I can’t put it down, however, if you don’t like suspenseful action stories you probably won’t like it. Hoooweeever, I would read it anyway. 🙂
In the second book, Gordy gets kidnapped; and it hits Cooper hard. Hiro can tell. Cooper is falling apart emotionally over losing his best friend and cousin. And he is doing crazy stuff to try to find the kidnapper. He and Lunk, the bully-turned-friend, repeatedly do non-smart things to find the kidnapper, such as breaking into peoples yards, planting evidence to get the police to search the house, and Lunk lies. This book shows there is a consequence for all the bad things they do, too. Eventually, being so distraught, Cooper baits the kidnapper – with himself. He ends up getting kidnapped too. The kidnapper puts him with Gordy and tells them he will release them in two days. Cooper realizes who he is, so the kidnapper changes the “game” and locks the two teens in the basement – a flooding basement. I think the worst thing about this book is Hiro looks up sex kidnappers and shows the list to the boys and the police, so they know there are kidnappers living in the area. There is one part towards the end where Hiro is worried that Cooper might commit suicide. At the end of this book, there is information on what to do if you find yourself in a situation similar to what Gordy went through. He covers a few tips on trying to escape, fighting, and what to do if someone points a gun at you.
The third book sends Lunk, Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy to Geneva Lake, Wisconsin for a vacation on Cooper’s boat that was introduced in book one. But guess who else is in WI? Stien. The guy who tried to kill Frank, Lunk, and Cooper. He is working at a casino, and he is mad. And he’s a sociopath. Which basically means he can do something horrible, and it won’t phase him. The story starts with Cooper and Gordy freaking Hiro out by pranking one of the boats in the piers next to theirs by lobbing dead fish in it. Hiro is not thrilled (of course), and guess who’s boat they dump the stinky fish into? The guy who Stien babysits. This guy, Kryptoski, is also very spoiled. When Cooper and Gordy are making their getaway, Cooper has a full-blown panic attack in the water. After he recovers and the three are hanging out on the deck of the boat, they see something very weird. Kryptoski and his girlfriend are having an argument. A very dangerous sounding argument. In fact, it gets so dangerous that the three hear a splash in the water, then the girl’s camera goes off in front of the boat. Next, they see Kryptoski driving his boat around like a madman. That’s when Cooper blows on the boat horn. Fast forwarding a good amount, Hiro calls the police, and while they are interrogating Kryptoski, a girl who looks exactly like the one on the boat arrives on the scene soaking wet. The police think it’s over, but a bit later, a missing poster for a look-alike girl named Wanda shows up. As the four teens get closer and closer to the truth, they start getting stalked, and danger seems to be encroaching on them. On top of all that, there is Cooper’s problem with water… This book includes helpful information on fear and combating it.
Congratulations if you made it to the end of this post! This series is incredible, and I really hope I didn’t make it sound boring.
🙂 I put a link to each book in the titles. If you have a question or comment, say it below. Thanks!