Cover Illustration by Christopher Chuckry
Holly led us through
the video store parking lot to an opening in the chain-link fence
that separated the back of the plaza and a wooded area. We
followed a narrow, worn path along the edge of the trees.
"This eventually comes out at Townline Road," Holly informed us. She was in front, and Granger was stumbling along behind me. It was dark now, and the only light came from the back of the plaza. The stench from an overflowing dumpster permeated the air.
"I'm not supposed to take this shortcut," Granger announced suddenly.
At that, Holly stopped so quickly that I walked into her. "Oh, my gawd! That's right!" She clapped a hand over her mouth. "This is exactly where it happened, isn't it?"
"On the other side of the fence," groaned Granger. "Don't stop. Keep walking! Geez, Holly," he whined, "why didn't your mother come and get us?"
I took my eyes off the path long enough to see that we were directly behind the drive-through for the Dairy Dipt. Everything seemed okay to me, except for the smell. We could hear the crackling tones of the girl on the speaker, telling the customer that his bill came to five dollars and thirty cents, and to "please drive ahead."
"What happened?" I asked. "What are you talking about?"
"Come on," barked Holly. "I'll tell you later. We've got to hurry."
We were walking up the back of one another's heels by the time we emerged from the underbrush at the lights of Townline Road, the main thoroughfare to our subdivision. Now we were able to walk on the grassy shoulder, where the passing traffic provided some movement of the stifling air. "Okay, now tell me," I demanded.
"Well, it happened like this," Holly began, dramatically. "One night, a man who owned one of the businesses in the plaza was murdered." In spite of the heat, goose bumps sprang out on my arms and legs. "It happened right there at the back door to his business. The other employees had all left, and he was just locking up. He had the days receipts with him and was about to cross the parking lot and get into his car."
"But," Granger took up the story, "he never got there! Next day, there were signs of a struggle, but all they found were his reading glasses in the long grass next to the fence."
"...... The Deep End Gang is an engaging little book primarily because Martin is an engaging narrator - an intelligent, funny kid who cant help letting his imagination sweep him into fantasy and the occasional outright lie........... A popular Canadian author of childrens mysteries and fantasy, Leavey deftly combines suspense and self-discovery in a story that both boys and girls will relate to. M. LAWRENCE June 2003 - Fearless Books
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