Sunday, November 15, 2009


Dekker, James C. Impact.
Orca 2009 94 16.95 978-1-55143-997-6 ms/hs

What starts as a study of violence against a teenager ends with a surprise climactic moment when Jordan reveals his role in his brother's death? The family suffers the effects of this senseless murder. One wonders how much more it will suffer if the truth ever comes out.
In this short study of jealousy, pain of loss, a slow court system and culpability, James Dekker unravels a powerful plot in which the details of Mark's murder are told by his brother. Four boys brutally beat up Mark after his work shift one night. Their actions reflect the jealousy of one teen, Tony, who convinces three friends to go along with him as he seeks revenge because Mark is dating his former girlfriend, Shannon. When Mark's family learns that a neighbor boy, Kyle, is also involved, they are devastated. Each chapter is introduced by Mark and Jordan's dad as he writes the victim impact statement he will read in court before the sentencing. By the end, we know the anguish of loss. We also know the role of each teen in the murder. When Kyle is sentenced to time paid for his role in luring Mark to a dark parking lot on that fateful night, the family is crushed! Imagine our surprise when Jordan's role in the murder is revealed! As one finds out, Jordan was jealous of his brother for capturing the heart of the girl that he had hoped to take out, the very same, Shannon! Jordan told Kyle where his brother would be that night, implicating himself in the murder of his own brother! Kyle exchanged his testimony for freedom, but covered for Jordan. The author ends with a Cain-Abel story of brother turning on brother, but in this case, the truth never comes out. Jordan must live with his guilt forever.
The book ends with a list of Orca Soundings' books and a preview of books soon to be published. MS

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