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Publisher's Summary

This raw and vivid portrait of juvenile detention centers and life on the run catapults John Gilstrap to the forefront of the crime thriller genre. Nathan Bailey is a 12-year-old juvenile-hall orphan with a problem. Covered in blood, he is caught on videotape fleeing from a murder scene. Will the boy evade the police long enough to tell the truth? Or will a hit man kill him before he gets the chance?
©1996 John Gilstrap (P)1996 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

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By Byron on 06-05-13

Young Nathan will win your heart!!

Although this book is listed as a Young Adult read, I found it thoroughly engrossing, thrilling, and heart reaching for this very adult reader!! It reminds me of C J Box's BLUE HEAVEN and the best of Charles Dickens' books about young orphan boys. Don't know how I missed this when it first came out, but am so glad I've found it now. I will definitely add John Gilstrap to my list of favorite authors!!

Nathan Bailey's Mom died when he was a baby, but he had a great life with his Dad, until his Dad was killed in a train wreck when Nathan was 10 years old. Unfortunately, things went rapidly down hill after that. He was placed in his drunken, scum-bag uncle's house. After much abuse, beatings and neglect, Nathan stole his Uncle's car in an effort to get away. He was caught, whereupon his uncle gleefully saw Nathan sent off to a Virginia Juvenile Detention Center for his punishment. After a miserable few months of fighting off bullies and abusers, he found himself in the tiny detention room, fighting for his life with one of the worst guards there. Sheer luck and stealth found Nathan surviving, running from the guard whom Nathan had killed in self defense. Now branded as a cop killer, the whole force of the police and politically motivated Attorney General's office comes down upon him. Continuing to run and hide seems to be Nathan's only hope.

"The Bitch" is a night time radio host who makes her living speaking to callers in shocking honesty. When the topic of "Nathan" comes up, everyone wants to see the "cop killer" caught, but should he be tried as a juvenile or as an adult. Opinions are strong for both sides. Hearing himself talked about, Nathan calls "The Bitch" to give his side of the story. Then it becomes ---is Nathan a murderer or a victim, and why would anyone want to kill a little boy?!? But the action has just begun. Nathan is definitely being pursued by police and a hit man, and the chase continues.

The characters were so well written that I felt like I knew who they were. The suspense drew me in from the very beginning and didn't slow down till the very last word on the very last page!! Nathan definitely won my heart. Great book, John Gilstrap!!

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful


By R. Pontiflet on 01-14-18

Run Nathan Run!!

This story is highly entertaining and it held my interest throughout. As the publisher's summary provides, Nathan is on the run for his life. Nathan is the underdog (wrongly accused, etc) and I root for children and underdogs, and against scum-bags and greedy relatives. This story is told in a way that's entertaining and suspenseful. As described by one reviewer, Nathan will steal your heart. His grief over the death of his parents and his struggles to survive abuse by the adults in his life, have taught and "schooled" Nathan to the point that he's become "street smart." However, when Nathan's dilemma comes to the attention of "the bitch", a radio host, he stole her heart and all of her listeners' heart as well.... the tide begins to slowly turn in Nathan favor.

George Guidall's outstanding performance brought the story and characters to life. A great read. Highly Recommend.....

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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