Charlie Parker is an eighth grader in Pine Bluff Key and has been seriously studying all the information he can find about Keegan's Point; visiting the local library to look at the original blueprints of the house reading all the news coverage in the archives, etc. He has chosen to use his knowledge as the basis for a report in class. The report is in his backpack when he is carried off by strangers who have come to town looking for the missing jewel - and Charlie gets to fulfill his lifelong wish of visiting Keegans' Point. Of course, he never imagined being held captive by jewel thieves who were breaking into the house and looking for the missing "rock." As luck would have it, Charlie's mother thinks he is spending a long weekend camping with friends and the friends think his mother has made him stay home, so no one will miss Charlie for three days. He only hopes he will still be alive when the strangers leave town.
The thieves are an odd mix of characters. There is Nick, who seems to be the leader of the group and actually treats Charlie in a semi-friendly way; Paulie is the demolitions expert; Monroe is an electrical wizard; and Zoe is Nick's girlfriend and seems especially scary and evil to Charlie. Somehow these four have insider knowledge about the house and the jewel, but Charlie also knows a lot from his research and Nick takes him into the house rather than leaving him tied up on the boat. Will they be able to find the treasure before the authorities realize they have broken into the house? Will Charlie make it back home to his mother? Does the "rock" even exist, or is all part of the legend of Keegan's Point?
There are plenty of moments when readers will be holding their breath, hoping Charlie comes through unharmed. And there are clues to unravel and piece together for the mystery lovers. Hidden motives and possible double-crosses keep the suspense high throughout the adventure. Perhaps you will even find yourself rooting for the bad guys as well as for Charlie.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
The author, H.D. Smith is best known for YA urban fantasy stories, but has written a second in the Good Bad Guys series which is aimed more for tweens and early teens.