The Stash by Benjamin Bradley

I am a big fan of Benjamin Bradley’s books.  They contain just enough spooky and mystery to keep me interested and on the edge, without making me scared so I cannot sleep!  They also always have an element of fun.  This novel is written a little differently from his others as the chapters alternate between three major characters: Detective Hook, Park Ranger Katie, and Cooper, a high school student.

Detective Hook was an outstanding detective until an escaped criminal killed his partner.  Now he has a hard time focusing, generally feels run down and his mind is not as sharp as it once was.  That is until another criminal escapes and suddenly he is on the ball working round the clock to find the guy.

Park Ranger Katie can not get over the death of her parents, so she isolates herself in the forest that she serves to protect, writing tickets to teens that are up to no good.  Why does she keep seeing the same teen in the park carrying a shovel?  

Cooper is best friends with Taylor and Cam.  It might be better to call them the three stooges, given their propensity to get into trouble.  The three are all about adventure and discovering the latest alien landing in the area or haunted house.  Who knows what will happen if the three are brought home by the police one more time.  And unfortunately for Cooper, he is trying to maintain some sanity in High School while managing his Mother’s care as he watches cancer ravage her body.  How in the world is he going to get the money for more treatment or maybe a drug trial?

Bradley does a fabulous job of weaving the stories together while keeping the suspense going until the very end.  Excellent storytelling, strong coming of age tale, and poignant in its dealing with losing a loved one.  Do not miss this one!

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