TRACES: Framed!
Author: Malcolm Rose
Pages: 232
Publisher/Date: HoughtonMifflin/Kingfisher/2005
ISBN: 0753458292
Age Levels: 10 and up

Book Review

Framed is the first book in a new series from Kingfisher titled Traces. Set in a futuristic England, the main character is Luke Harding, who, at 16, is the youngest person ever to become a qualified forensic investigator.

Luke's sidekick is a robot named Malc (Mobile Aid to Law and Crime) that comes equipped with an extensive database, ultraviolet and infrared scanners, lasers, and more.

Luke and Malc's first case occurs on the campus of Luke's school. Someone has shot an arrow through Crispin Addley, killing the student. Luke comes
. . . face-to-face with his first real murder. His instructors had not exaggerated the impulse to freeze completely or to run away . . . He tried to put aside the emotional shock and concentrate on his training, but it wasn't easy. This was real flesh and blood, real life, and real death. It was very different from an artificial school project where no one got hurt, where there would be one clear answer, where clues were guaranteed, and the worst result of a mistake was a low grade.
When the evidence points at Luke himself, he and Malc use all their training and cunning to flush out the real murderer—but not before two more killings take place.

Framed is a fast-paced, well-plotted thriller filled with futuristic details and good, old-fashioned drama. The characters are believable and likeable. Malcolm Rose has created a supremely satisfying new series. We look forward to reading the next installment.

Reviewed by the teachers at Education Oasis
©2005 Education Oasis

About the Author

Malcolm Rose began his career as a novelist while a Lecturer in Chemistry at The Open University in London. Prodded by his girlfriend Barbara (who later became his wife), Malcolm nurtured his writing hobby and soon became a published author. He is a well-known crime and thriller writer who has written twenty-two novels for older children. He confesses to being a professional daydreamer.