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Robert Sutherland.

Richmond Hill (ON), Scholastic-Tab Publications, c1983.
193pp, paper, $2.25.
ISBN 0-590-71151-2.

Grades 6 and up.
Reviewed by Gudrun Wight.

Volume 11 Number 6.
1983 November.

On vacation in the Scottish Hebrides, David McCrimmon, of Woodstock, Ontario, discovers a fatally injured man at the foot of a cliff. The dying man rallies his last strength to entrust David with an urgent message, a message that leads the young Canadian into a fast-paced series of adventures with smugglers, military intelligence, a hidden cave, a submarine, and a contraband shipment of deadly germs.

Enchanting touches of the Hebridean setting are skilfully woven into the well-constructed plot. Through David's eyes and ears, the reader is charmed with drifting mist, an ancient castle, memories of the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and glimpses of the Western Isles from the deck of a Scottish trawler. Into this historic scene, the modern world's problems intrude, as ruthless smugglers selling weapons to terrorists plan to culminate their operations by dealing in germ warfare. A stolen supply of anthrax bacteria, of a virulent strain fatal to both cattle and people, is to make them millionaires in one coup.

Aided by Sandy, the trawler captain's plucky niece, David becomes involved in a courageous struggle to delay the smugglers until authorities can reach the scene. Although the characters are not so fully developed as one could wish, the sustained suspense will grip the reader to the end.

Gudrun Wight, Faculty of Education, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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