What is a normal night at their favorite diner turns into a living nightmare when Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy witness a violent robbery that leaves the diner owner in serious condition. What’s worse is that one of the robbers got a good look at Cooper, as well as his house key, putting him in even more danger if he speaks up. So, along with his friends, they make the Code of Silence to not say anything about them being there that night.
As the days go on, the three realize that remaining silent might not be the right thing to do. But if they tell the truth now, they might get killed, as they suspect that at least one of the robbers might be a cop. If they don’t speak up though, the robbers might never get caught and might find Cooper and hurt his family.
This young adult mystery novel with a Christian basis was one that I couldn’t put down. The book grabs you right from the start when Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy witness a robbery at their favorite hangout spot. They get away mostly unseen by the robbers, until the very last second, when Cooper is spotted by one of them and the guy gets Cooper’s house key. In order to protect his family and friends, Cooper comes up with the Code of Silence, which means none of them can admit they were there that night.
Given that this book has a Christian basis (which I love by the way, and we need more middle-grade/young-adult books with that basis) there’s a conflict of interest with Cooper coming up with this Code of Silence. It’s omission of the truth, and he begins lying to everyone – the cops, his teachers, his parents, and eventually even to his friends. He thinks he’s doing the right thing to protect himself and them, but everything just seems to get worse. Meanwhile, Hiro fights him on keeping the code, as she hates the lying, especially when she’s praying for the diner owner to pull through his coma, yet she hasn’t told her mom or anyone about what really happened that night.
The characters were well rounded. I mean, these kids are raised in faith, but they still struggle to do the right thing, which is real for all Christians. Especially if you’re put into a situation such as this… and you’re only thirteen years old. Cooper’s inner struggle is real because he really does want to protect his family from the robber that has his house key, but he wants the guys to get caught too. Aside from that, just the friendship and banter between Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy is fun too. After all, they’re just kids. Then there’s Lunk, a sort-of reformed bully who has a prominent part in this story who grows on you.
While reading this book I just kept on wanting to turn the page and not stop. I think I read at least half the book in one sitting at some point, maybe more because my eyes were hurting when I finally was done for the night. It’s kind of predictable as to who is behind the robbery, but it’s also middle grade (maybe young YA) novel, so you can’t expect it to be too hard to figure out. In any case, I highly recommend this book!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars