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Endangered: A Death on a Deadline Mystery
by Kate Jaimet
Hayley isn’t a typical teenage girl. Rather than caring about prom or worrying about not getting her high school diploma, she spends her time working for her father’s newspaper.
While listening to a police scanner, she gets her first big scoop. Her hope is to discover whose blood is splattered all over a remote cabin. But instead of looking for clues, Hayley’s father forces her to participate in a research project to earn credits she needs to graduate high school.
Instead of investigating a possible murder, Hayley finds herself stuck on a boat doing research with only Ms. Cameron, a biology teacher, and Ernest, a social outcast, for company. Hayley and her group find the rare turtle they’re hunting for, but with it they find people illegally hunting it. When Hayley and Ernest try to protect the turtle, they find their lives are in danger. Now Hayley has two mysteries to deal with-and twice the danger.
Endangered: A Death on a Deadline Mystery is an enjoyable book. While the ending is no surprise, the story is engaging and interesting. Even though the bad guy is predictable, the ending is still satisfying and will make the reader smile.
Hayley is a loveable, realistic character the reader can bond with. Hayley has abandonment issues because her mother left her as a baby. She doesn’t do the “dating scene” because she’s not sure how to handle guys. She doesn’t have a normal family life. But when it comes to reporting, she is assertive and sure of herself.
Between the mystery, the hunt for an elusive turtle, and Hayley’s personal story, the book has a lot to love. Even though the story revolves around a possible death, the violence is not detailed or graphic. However, there are many references to drugs and alcohol that may be inappropriate for younger readers.
- Hayley is at work and wonders about her friends who attended prom. She was, “checking Facebook every ten minutes to see which of my friends were making out, breaking up, or getting hammered.”
- When talking about a Herpetofaunal research project, Hayley thinks, “It sounded like a sexually transmitted disease.”
- Hayley tells a boy she isn’t into the dating scene because, “You go to a club, or a party, and you’re out there dancing, and suddenly a guy you don’t even know comes up behind you and starts groping you. When did that become socially acceptable?” Later in the same scene, she says, “The point is, that’s what guys always say: ‘What’s the problem, baby? Why are you so uptight? It doesn’t mean anything.’ And then they expect you to have sex with them because, if it doesn’t mean anything, why should you say no. . . . And maybe it does mean something. The point is, why do guys think that they get to decide if it’s meaningful or not? When they’re not even the ones who are going to get pregnant if something goes wrong.”
- When talking about when a girl really likes a guy, Hayley says, “Because then you sleep with him, and you put your heart into it, and half the time he doesn’t really care, he’s just using you.”
- Hayley thinks about her father not being at home when she was little. “Dad was out chasing stories and whatever else grown men chase when they don’t have a wife at home . . . he never brought a girlfriend home. But he was late often enough. Let’s just say, it wouldn’t have surprised me.”
- While Hayley is drinking at a bar, one of the men she is with leans toward her. “His hand, warm and heavy, landed on my thigh. I felt a throb go through my body—a throb I didn’t want to feel, not for Trevor. A burning sensation flushed from my legs through my pelvis, my breast, my neck, my lips…My body wanted to throw itself at Trevor-Forever.” Trevor kisses Hayley’s earlobe and then her lips. Drunk and upset, Hayley runs, grabs a cab, and goes home.
- Ernest’s mother left him when he was eight. When Hayley sees Ernest’s father’s green lawn Hayley thinks, “Given the way his wife had left him for a life of probiotic lesbian farming, he probably felt sweet revenge every time he blasted a dandelion.”
- When Alex’s thigh touches Hayley’s thigh, “a warmth spread through my leg that was more than just body heat.”
- When Alex touches Hayley’s hand she thinks, “Every part of him I saw, I wanted to touch: the short, soft hairs at the nape of his neck, the stubble on the line of his jaw, the hair that fell in a fringe over his left eyebrow, the muscles that rippled in two long, smooth ridges down his back, on either side of his spine. I wanted to trace those ridges from the curve of his shoulders down to his hips…”
- Alex kisses Hayley. “He cupped my cheek with his hand. His lips touched mine with a warmth that made my heart roll over and surrender.”
- Hayley goes to the scene of a crime where “some cops had found a blood-splattered shack.” The story revolves around Haley trying solve the crime.
- At one point Hayley thinks that the crime could have happened when a fight broke out because “someone was drunk or high or something.”
- Hayley and Ernest get into a fight over a drill. They, “went tussling over the sand like a deranged parody of a teenage beach movie…I twisted my body to keep his pelvis away; the last thing I wanted was to feel Ernest’s groin pressed against mine.” Hayley then bites Ernest, who lets go of her.
- Ernest and Hayley are scuba diving when they see a fishing boat trying to illegally catch a turtle. While Ernest is trying to cut the net to free the turtle, someone shoots at him. “Fragments of shot pelted through the froth. A red cloud tinted the water . . .His other arm dangled limp at his side, a ribbon of red streaming out from a spot a few inches below his shoulder.”
- Hayley talks about covering stories about “near-fatal bar stabbings” and “drunk-driving accidents.” She said her father’s philosophy was that “if I saw the stupid tragedies that people got into with drugs and alcohol abuse, I’d be smart enough to avoid them.”
- A woman describes how Tyler was killed. “I can hear Snake telling Gill how he just killed some kid down at the cabin…he just wanted to beat him up, teach him a lesson, and now the kid’s dead, and he needs to get rid of the body before the cops find out.”
- An illegal exchange was taking place when two people accidently walk in. Snake is shot before he can kill anyone. “There on the flagstones beside the pickup truck, lay the drug dealer Snake. He was face-up on the ground and a dark stain spread over his chest. A handgun lay on the ground beside his outstretched arm as though it had been flung from his grasp as he fell.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Part of the story revolves around Hayley’s emotional issues because her mother was a drunken party girl and she, “couldn’t wait to get back to the party scene once I was born.”
- When Hayley talks to two boys who saw the scene of the crime, the boys tell her, “we were kinda drinking.”
- Tyler Dervish wanted to be part of the popular crowd, so he decided to sell drugs. One of the cops asks if Tyler sold, “E? Oxy? Coke? Weed?”
- Hayley talks about being in a band with a couple of friends. The band fell apart when her friends, “discovered the joys of getting trashed after our gigs on vodka and party drugs.”
- A fisherman said his grandfather, “made more money running rum. Prohibition times, it was.” He then goes on to explain how his grandfather got away with selling liquor during that time period.
- While on a boat, Hayley thinks, “the wrong wave and it would throw us at the rockface, like a drunk smashing a beer bottle against the wall in a bar fight.”
- Hayley goes to a bar to meet a young cop and his friend. The guys have a pitcher of beer and Hayley has a mixed drink. When one of the guys starts flirting with her, she flirts back. “The alcohol had apparently cut off my rational mind from the instinctual part of my brain.”
- Hayley’s friend says, “I need a joint.” Hayley replies, “You need to get off that shit.” Hayley notices this friend has a mark on her arm that could be from a drug needle.
- When going to the bad side of town, Hayley sees, “used condoms lay in the dirt beneath them. There were probably needles in there, too, but I didn’t stop to check.”
- As Hayley is trying to get information from a young cop she gives him a smile like, “Hey, I get it, my editor’s just as hard-ass as your partner.”
- An angry fisherman tells Hayley, “You write this in your goddamn newspaper.” Later on in the story, the same fisherman uses the word “goddamn” again.
- After getting drunk and flirting with Trevor, Hayley thinks, “Why did I have to go and make an ass of myself last night?”
- When two boys found the crime scene they were scared “shitless.”
- A woman calls her boyfriend a “bastard.”
- When a fisherman tells someone that a turtle shouldn’t be taken out of the ocean, the man replies, “God, another fucking tree-hugger.”
- Snake tells someone, “You heard him lady. Get the fuck inside!”
- Profanity is used throughout the book, occasionally in Hayley’s thoughts, but mostly when the characters are in a stressful situation. The profanity includes holy shit, hell, shit, bullshit, goddamn, and bastard.