When softhearted handyman Cedric O'Toole agrees to help Barry Mitchell renovate his farmhouse, he finds himself facing old fears. Not only did Mitchell bully Cedric all through school, but his life has been troubled ever since. Now, just out of prison, he's broke and his parents have gone missing, leaving a cloud of suspicion hanging over his head. But when Barry warns him not to touch the boarded-up door in the cellar, the ever-curious Cedric can't resist. The small storage room, obviously unused in years, contains jars of preserves, barrels of dried apples and a pile of small bones. As he sets out to discover who died and how, Cedric uncovers a tale of violence, deception and abuse. And he learns just how far Barry will go to keep a tragic family secret from coming to light.
"Fradkin successfully brings back her handyman/inventor hero in his second outing (after The Fall Guy)...Plenty of suspense and action are packed into a short and satisfying story."
"Fradkin has written a fast paced novel that will thrill young adult readers. Suspense fills every chapter and the reader finds themselves rooting for Rick to solve the mystery and get out alive. This mystery adventure is a sure page-turner...Recommended for any high school or public library. It will relate well to young adult and adult readers."
"A fast-paced story aimed at adult readers, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy and anyone who wants a high-interest read they can finish in one sitting. In the latter category, it will also suit teen readers who enjoy intrigue and are looking for a mystery that will hold their interest but not take up a huge chunk of their time...And though the plot is not complicated, Fradkin draws on her experience as a psychologist to weave subplots into the main thread and knot them in a twist at the end...Recommended."