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Nick who was a normal school boy hated French and his teacher. He lived with his big brother Tim who was very bad at his detective job. Nicks mum and dad are away so they were left alone. One day after school when Nicks French teacher kept him behind Snape and Boyle came round and asked Nick something. The favour was to get Nick in jail and then try to be best friends with Johnny Powers so then they can catch the Fence. After refusing to Snape and Boyle, they frame him in a jewel robbery and is put in a cell with johnny powers. It looked like Snape and Boyle were pretty happy with there work and visited him again to see how the best friend was going, but only they knew that he was framed, no-one else. He had to do what they said or else they would think he was a criminal forever. Nick had to act fast because Johnny was on his way to being crazy because he has been in the cell so long.
"Public Enemy Number Two" is the second in the Diamond Brothers series by Anthony Horowitz. Having read the first book (which I found amazing), I had great expectations of this book, and I doubted as to whether it could match up to the quality of the first one. I was proved wrong when I picked up this book and started to read.
This book was first penned out by Horowitz in 1987, but was finally published 10 years later. An extremely exciting plot combined with some intricate and intelligent writing from Horowitz makes this book into another great book from this author.
The plot revolves around a criminal called "The Fence", whose identity is unknown. When the police ask Nick Diamond to try and investigate, he promptly refuses as it will put him in danger. However, he is then framed for jewel robbery and ends up doing just what the police wanted him to do - in a cell with Public Enemy Number One, Johnny Powers. He escapes from the jail with Powers, but is thrown into a world of gang culture which it seems he cannot get out of!
The best thing about this book is that you never know who the criminal is going to be! The most trustworthy source in the country, the police force, frame Nick for robbery to get their way, and then another vast array of criminals are thrown into the air, all of them popping up at totally unexpected moments.
The element of surprise is something which Horowitz uses superbly. When reading this book, I just didn't know what to expect! Each time Nick looked like he was about to get somewhere, something totally unexpected pops up which throws the story off onto a totally different tangent. This shows the ingenuity of Horowitz's writing style, and it is something that I love, as it makes the book far more exciting and there is constantly tension that something else unexpected is about to happen!
There are numerous moments of humour for children in this book, and if silly humour is the thing for you, then you will like this book. I'm not going to give you examples of this, as it will ruin the jokes when you come to read the book, but many jokes revolve around the stupidity of Nick's brother, Herbert. These jokes were something that worked well in "The Falcon's Malteser" - the first book in the Diamond Brothers series.
This book retails at a maximum of £5.99 (paperback), but there are better offers around. If you can buy this with other books in the series for a cheaper offer, then I would advise this, because all of the books are great in terms of the fun factor, the tension factor and the excitement factor.
Although this is written as a children's book, I would say that it is better perhaps for people above the age of 12 (teenagers and young adults will enjoy this book). This is because the plot is complicated in places and it may confuse children. Moreover, seeing as the book is about London gangs, there are many scenes of graphic violence in the book that may not be suitable for young children. However, for teenagers in particular, this book is a lot of fun and a great read!
This second in the Diamond brothers collection was penned by Anthony Horowitz in 1987, (three years after The Falcon's Malteser)
** BRIEF STORY **
Herbert Simple is a private investigator, albeit a bad one, who goes by the name of Tim Diamond, but is struggling to get any clients through the door, finding it hard to earn money to survive for himself and his younger brother Nick since there parents emigrated to Australia.
The brothers are trying to lead an easy life after there unfortunate incidents which happened to them a few years earlier, (involving a box of maltesers and several uncut diamonds).
But, as Nick is forced to stay behind at school one day he is visited by Chief Inspector Snape and his violent sidekick Boyle, a couple of not so friendly police officers from his past... who need Nicks help to try an catch a clever 'fence' who is involved in millions of pounds worth of stolen property...
Only Snape's plans involve Nick volunteering to go into prison so as to find out the name of the 'fence' from a well known young villain named Johnny Powers, who apparently knows the 'fences' name but will not tell the police as he hates people in authority.
When Nick refuses Snapes request he thinks that is it, until a school trip to Woburn Abbey takes a turn for the worst, leaving Nick in a terrible situation involving some red gemstones called the Woburn Carbuncles, some rather old aged security guards brandishing knitting needles, many smashed painting and a rather angry lion...leaving Nick in no doubt that he has been set up by Snape.
So, with Herbert finally finding a client who wants him to find a missing Ming vase, called the purple peacock, Nick finds himself incarcerated for the theft of the Woburn Carbuncles and assaulting a lion..???? finding himself sharing a cell with Johnny Powers... Nick thinks his life can not get any worse...
But things take a more drastic turn for Nick, and the hapless Herbert, when Powers hears news that his mother needs help... and is soon involved in more trouble than he ever wanted, becoming a fugitive from the law as he tries to help Johnny whilst trying to prove his innocence... although his dopey brother doesn't help much with his stupidity, especially when he somehow becomes tied to a chair with some rather explosive items around his feet...
So with Nick and Herbert doing there best to stay alive whilst finding out the identity of the Fence so they can clear nicks name they soon stumble across a lot more danger than they bargained for... especially when the true identity of the Fence is revealed, shocking the life out of Nick...
** IN CONCLUSION **
I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed this book... in fact I have read it several times over the past few years... enjoying it every time, although I know what is going to happen as I turn the page I still want to read every word, taking in the brilliant way Horowitz expresses his imagination, almost making me believe that I am part of his thrilling story...
What a brilliant piece of writing with so many comical twists and turns you'll be wondering if you've missed a page or two as you read along.
This sort of follow on to Horowitz 'The Falcon's Malteser' is even better for outright humour and seems to be more aimed at the younger audience, having no real descriptions of total violence or horrifying bloodshed... although there are a few really comical attempts at scary incidents, including a rather well written chase scene at Woburn Abbey involving a land rover, a very angry lion and a small red stone...
The story is so full of suspense and creates many near scrapes for the young Nick and his under achieving brother... so combining them with a real time gangster type criminal of the same age as Nick was indeed a touch of genius by Horowitz... especially the way he does it...using a boy to do a mans job...
And with the wonderful surprise toward the end as the identity of the fence is revealed is just mind bogglingly brilliant... but from Horowitz what more do you expect?
I don't want to spoil the novel by giving away to much about the plot, just in case you haven't had the chance to read it yet, but I do recommend getting hold of a copy a settling down to read it... I guarantee you will not be disappointed as you realise just how brilliantly humorous this book really is, whilst being held in suspense by the dramatic events surrounding the fictional but rather adorable little Nick.
*Would I recommend this..?
YES I certainly would.
It is without doubt one of the best books I have ever read...if not the best...ever...
It is written to please everyone...from smaller children who enjoy there bedtime stories to great grandmothers who just want to have a giggle at life... this one will do the trick.
You can get a copy of this book from amazon, (and other places of course) for less than £4.00... And what a bargain indeed...