The hero of Deadlock, Archie Blake has been taught to pick locks by his Dad. Since his mother died, Archie and his Dad, a police officer, have had races to see who can break into a safe the fastest.

Archie’s life gets even more complicated when his Dad is arrested for stealing a diamond necklace.  Archie knows his Dad has been framed but now Archie is wanted by the police too.  He needs to use his unusual skills and his quick reactions to prove his dad’s innocence.  However, he only has 48 hours before his Dad’s case is heard in court.  He is following the clues he has found among his Dad’s papers and has traveled to Brighton.  He enlists the help of a girl called Bunny and soon Archie is drawn into investigating a criminal gang in a desperate race to find the evidence that will prove his father’s innocence. As Archie’s efforts continue, could there be more to the mystery than Archie realises?

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Simon Fox

(Nosy Crow)

Deadlock is a fast-paced and action packed thrilling story about the choices we make and the perils we sometimes face close to home.
Since his mother’s mysterious death, Archie Blake has lived with his policeman father.  His Dad has been teaching him how to pick locks and open safes for ‘just a bit of fun’.  However, these skills suddenly become of great significance when a diamond necklace is stolen and his dad is arrested.  Convinced that his Dad cannot have carried out the crime, Archie must set out to prove his innocence.  A further major problem for Archie is that he too is being sought by the police and a nationwide hunt is on for him.  He is forced to go on the run and use everything he’s learned to uncover the truth.
Archie finds a tin box containing various of his Dad’s lock-picking gear, together with a list of names and an address in Brighton.  Arriving at the address in the coastal town he encounters Bunny, the daughter of one of his Dad’s colleagues.  She too has some unorthodox skills and Archie soon finds himself deeply tangled in the criminal underworld.  It’s hard for Archie to  know who to trust and even harder to see what’s right or wrong. Furthermore, time is ticking – there are only 48 hours before Archie’s Dad’s court case is heard.  Will Archie be able to find a way out before it’s too late?
This is Simon Fox’s second novel for middle grade readers and an equally excellent follow up to Running Out of Time, also available in the Bookwagon on-line store.


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