An exciting mystery with a strong connection to animals, Toby Gee
18 May, 2021
Search for a Kiwi Killer by Des Hunt is a very interesting book about a young boy, Tom, who has to find out who is killing the native kiwi in Waitangi Forest. When disaster strikes, Tom has to find his way through a raging storm, while also tracking down the killer.
In a small town called Kerikeri, the flightless kiwi live on farms and in pine forests. That’s the reason the law says that all dogs must be on a lead. Someone is ignoring that law, and many dead kiwi sightings start to occur. Many people that live in Kerikeri own dogs, including Tom Smart. He owns a pig dog which he rescued from the forest.
With the number of dead kiwi sightings on the rise, many dogs are being tested to see if they’re the killer. Tom doesn’t believe that his dog is, and the only way to prove it is by finding the real killer. He believes he knows who it is, but confronting the owner will come with some big risks.
Tom Smart is an ambitious, young boy. He comes from a split family but lives with his dad against the official order. His mum lives elsewhere with her new husband and baby. Tom’s dad Brandon is not a very responsible father—he’s always late, and often leaves Tom to figure things out himself. Brandon often leaves Tom home alone, so in the holidays their neighbour Dave look after him.
Over the school break, Tom develops a strong relationship with him. Dave is caring. He lost his arm in a work accident but he still helps Tom look after the dog he found. Dave basically becomes Tom’s father, so Dave starts to teach Brandon how to be a good father.
The story has lots of emotion but unlike some other books, the emotion is with animals too. The book will touch many people that own pets. It shows the connection people can have with animals and there are many scenes where Tom’s pet helps him succeed in the face of adversity. I think people from the age of 8 to 13 would enjoy reading this book the most.
Search for a Kiwi Killer is an amazing fiction, mystery, and adventure story that I found to be an interesting and action-packed read. I would rate the book four out of five. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. The book really hooked me and often I found time fly by while I was reading it. It was written in a way that was easy to understand and follow. The book is similar to The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble.
Toby Gee is 12 years old and lives in Christchurch