In Too Deep
The 39 Clues Series by Jude Watson
Review: Amy and Dan Cahill continue their quest for the 39 Clues to Australia, following the trail their parents took 10 years earlier, in In Too Deep, the sixth book in this series, this one written by Jude Watson.
Amy and Dan arrive in Sydney from Moscow, intent on locating an old family friend who may know more about why their parents visited Australia a decade earlier. The siblings had accompanied their parents, but were too young to remember much. Yet just seeing their "uncle" and visiting his home starts to bring back memories for Amy … and not necessarily ones she wants to remember. Relentlessly pursued by other members of the family, the two increasingly find that danger seems to lurk around every corner — and security is provided by an unexpected source.
It isn't strictly necessary to have read the previous books in this series to enjoy In Too Deep, but it would undoubtedly help. The first few pages provide sufficient background to allow first-time readers to get acquainted with Amy and Dan and why they're on a race around the world in search of clues that will make them the most powerful people in the world. It takes a little more effort to learn in which other family members are also in pursuit of this goal, and which of the four branches they belong (and why this is important).
A key phrase from this entry in the series is "trust no one". Amy is told this, and "for the first time, she truly understood what [it] meant. The stakes were so much higher than she'd thought. The lies cut so much deeper. Right to her heart." In Too Deep is a thrilling story, to be sure, but it is also a study in self-reflection and the choices one makes. Adult readers may appreciate this aspect of the story a bit more than younger readers, who will likely revel in the chase through Australia and on to Jakarta.
There are also references to famous historical figures who Amy and Dan discover are also Cahills, though admittedly distant relations. It's probably not giving away too much (given the book's cover) to reveal that Amelia Earhart — also revealed to be a Cahill — plays a key role in their search here, and it's a thrilling possibility that her time in Australia prior to setting off across the Pacific may have involved the Cahill family.
In Too Deep furthers Amy and Dan's adventure in a grand way. According to an endpaper, the next book in the series, The Viper's Nest, promises to reveal what family branch Amy and Dan are in.
Acknowledgment: Scholastic provided a copy of In Too Deep for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Beyond the Grave
Scholastic (Hardcover), June 2009
ISBN-13: 9780545060448; ISBN-10: 0545060443
A King's Ransom
Scholastic (Hardcover), December 2011
ISBN-13: 9780545298407; ISBN-10: 0545298407
Location(s) referenced in In Too Deep: Sydney, Australia, Jakarta, Indonesia
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In Too Deep by Jude Watson — The 39 Clues Series
Publication Date: November 2009
List Price: $12.99