Norah McClintock presents...

The Chloe & Levesque series

No Escape

When Caleb Darke is released from prison, nobody in town wants him back. Nobody will even give him a chance — except Chloe. She’s sure he didn’t commit the crime he was convicted of. The trouble is, how is she going to prove it? And if Caleb didn’t do it, who did? Because that person is going to do everything possible to keep Chloe from finding out . . .

Scholastic Canada Ltd.
ISBN 0-439-95636-6 PBK
256 pages
Ages 12+
4 3/16" x 6 ¾"


Excerpt

He glowered at me, like he didn’t trust me.

“Eric says that Caleb said he didn’t do it,” I said.

“There it is,” Ross said, like he’d been expecting me to lob a mud ball at him, and I hadn’t disappointed him.

“There what is?”

“I saw you with Eric. His uncle was Caleb’s lawyer so, of course, he’s convinced Caleb is innocent. And you’re even worse. You think everyone in prison is innocent. First it was Jonah’s dad . . . ”

Jonah Shackleton’s father. A whole other story.

“Not the best example,” I said.

“Whatever,” Ross said. “True or false: Eric’s got you believing that Caleb was wrongfully convicted.”

Usually I’m pretty calm, although there are some people who might dispute that. I’m calm right up to the point when someone says something that pokes me right where I don’t want to be poked.

“First of all,” I said, “nobody gets me believing anything — not Eric, not anybody. I’m perfectly capable of thinking for myself — ”

“Whoa,” Ross said, holding up his hands like he thought he was going to have to defend himself against a physical attack. “Struck a nerve, huh?”

“And second of all,” I said, “you know as well as I do that sometimes the justice system doesn’t work the way it should. I mean, you have to wonder — ”

“No way, Chloe.” He started to back away from me.

“No way what?”

“I’m not buying it.”

“Not buying what?”

“Whatever you’re selling.”

“I’m not selling anything.”

“Yeah. Sure. You were just wondering.”

“Well, think about it, Ross. Caleb was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to eight years. He could have been out on parole a long time ago if he’d taken responsibility for what he did. But he refused. Instead, he stayed in prison until they had to let him go. If he really had done it, why wouldn’t he just say, ‘I’m sorry, I’m going to turn my life around,’ and get himself out on parole? Why would he stay in prison a day longer than he had to?”

“Uh-huh,” Ross said. “In other words, what you’re saying is the fact that he was in prison proves that he’s innocent.”

I opened my mouth to say, No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. Except that, in a way, it was. And how much sense did that make?

From No Escape. Copyright © 2003 by Norah McClintock. All rights reserved.