Top positive review
20 people found this helpful
Vastly Better Than Grisham
on 11 June 2013
The greatest mistake an author can make when writing for a teenage audience (sadly made by John Grisham in his Theodore Boone novels) is to assume that it can't cope with well-written books and complex plots. Chris Bradford has not made that mistake. Bodyguard: Hostage is never patronising to its young readers (or to the many adults who will also be captivated by the novel).
The story is fast-paced, gripping and wonderfully escapist. Just as Alex Rider and the young James Bond series come to an end we now have a delightful new fourteen-year-old hero in Connor Reeves. The son of an SAS soldier who heroically gave his life to save an American diplomat, Connor is recruited by an organisation which provides teenage bodyguards ("buddyguards") to protect children who may be the targets of assassins or kidnappers.
Connor's first mission is to protect the teenage daughter of the President of the USA. She, Alicia, is extraordinarily pretty and high-spirited. She hates the constant presence of secret service agents. So, naturally, she keeps trying to escape from them. But there is reason to believe that dangerous terrorists may be trying to kill or kidnap her. In desperation, her father, the President, decides to employ Connor to be her bodyguard, to stick by her side at all times, particularly when she tries to get away from the secret service. More than that I cannot tell you. But I can assure you that, if you like a rip-roaring adventure, you will love this book.
It is sad that modern publishers insist on putting their products in pigeon holes. Fifty years ago this book would have been directed at both teenage and adult readers. Now, however, the publishers have to choose between the two. The result is that Bodyguard is sold as a children's book and adults will only come across it by chance. That is a pity. Bradford has shown he can write a wonderful thriller which is a great deal more readable and fun than anything produced by Jeffrey Archer or Dan Brown. But, because it is marketed as being for children, the adults who rush to buy everything by those two authors will think it beneath them. They will be the losers.