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The Book Report: Framed

27/04/2012

Framed (Traces, book 1) by Malcolm Rose

Rating: 4/10

Luke Harding, at sixteen years old, is the youngest ever qualified Forensic Investigator. Just as he graduates school he gets his first case, a murder on campus, and all the clues point to him! GASP! Now he has just days to solve the case before he leaves.

Framed! was possibly the first ‘crime/thriller’ book I’ve read that I actually liked. It’s like CSI for youngsters. So why does it only get 4/10? I’ll tell you:

  1. It’s a very simple story and a very easy read. I can see older teens getting tired of it quickly.
  2. It needed more depth to the characters. I got just enough detail to keep me interested, but I wanted so much more!

I suppose I should give you a list of all the things I liked about it, now?

  1. There’s no fuss and it’s not complicated or confusing, which is a good thing when it comes to crime novels.
  2. The world they live in is just slightly different to our own. For example: cats and dogs exist, but they’re endangered and are only in conservation parks; most of the people (in England) are dark skinned while it’s a genetic flaw to be white; most crimes (if not all) are punishable by death; etc.
  3. I like Luke. He’s a bit of a rebel, but he’s honest. He causes trouble but he owns up to doing it.
  4. Malc. Mobile Aid to Law and Crime. A machine that follows Luke around on an almost constant basis, offering advice and unintended humour. He is the R2-D2 of the Traces universe.
  5. As simple as the story is, you still find yourself trying to figure out who the guilty party is right until the end.

I actually think I’ll pick up the rest of the series. Sometimes I just feel like pottering through a decent but extremely easy read. And I want to know what happens to the characters I just about grew attached to.

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