Norah McClintock presents...

Robyn Hunter Mysteries

Nowhere to Turn

Robyn’s done her best to get over Nick, so when Beej shows up and says he needs her help, Robyn refuses. At first. But hoping for some clue as to why he left her, Robyn can’t help herself. It turns out Nick’s been arrested and the evidence is stacked against him. Robyn doesn’t believe that Nick would ever steal from a friend, but she realizes that there’s a lot about him she doesn’t know or understand. As she decides to investigate, she puts herself in grave danger...

Scholastic Canada Ltd.
ISBN 978-0-545-99730-0 PBK
240 pages
Ages 12 to 14
5 x 7 ¾”


Excerpt

I nodded and glanced over to where Nick was standing. He was staring at me. He did not look happy to see me.

The police arrived less than five minutes later. So did the paramedics. The police spoke to Elliot while the paramedics attended to Mr. Schuster. When they lifted Mr. Schuster onto a gurney and started to wheel him away, Elliot and Isobel went with them. More police arrived. They began to interview the people the security guards had asked to stay. They asked for everyone’s name, address, and telephone number. They checked identification. They wrote down what everyone told them.

“It looked to me like Nick pushed the old man,” Morgan said when a uniformed police officer finally got to us. Her cheeks flushed as soon as she realized what she had just said.

“Nick?” the police officer said. “You know the accused?”

“Sort of,” Morgan said, trying to correct her mistake. “I’ve seen him around.” That happened to be true. Morgan knew Nick, but she hadn’t spent any time with him.

The police officer looked at me. “What about you? Did you see what happened?”

I nodded. “He — Nick — was on the escalator behind Mr. Schuster—” The police officer’s eyes narrowed. “You know the victim?”

“I walk his dog for him,” I said.

He nodded, but I bet he was thinking it was quite a coincidence that Morgan and I had witnessed the incident. “Go on,” he said.

“Well . . .” I hesitated. My father once told me that police officers are naturally suspicious. After all, he said, they might show up at a house and find a grieving husband distraught over the death of his wife — only to find out on closer investigation that the grieving husband had murdered her. That’s why, my father said, a good police officer doesn’t take anything at face value. A good police officer questions everything. This one was looking at me as if I were an unreliable witness, as if it had crossed his mind that I might be biased in some way. “It did look like Nick pushed Mr. Schuster. But I could be wrong.”

“Why do you say that?”

I wanted to say, Because Nick likes Mr. Schuster and would never hurt him. But I couldn’t tell the police officer that without admitting how well I knew Nick. What if Elliot found out? Instead, I said, “It all happened so fast.”

“Can you describe exactly what you saw?” he said.

I said that Nick had been at the top of the escalator directly behind Mr. Schuster and Isobel, that I had seen him raise both hands in front of him, that it looked like he had made contact with Mr. Schuster, and that right after that, Mr. Schuster had fallen.

“So you’re saying that the accused pushed the victim?” the police officer said.

“It sort of looked like it,” I said.

“Sort of? You either saw him push that man or you didn’t. Which is it?”

“I guess I saw him,” I admitted.

After he double-checked our names, addresses, and phone numbers, he said that we could go.

When I turned to look again, Nick was gone. The police must have taken him away.

“I know I saw it,” Morgan said as we headed for the mall exit.
“But I still don’t believe it.”

That was the thing — neither did I.

From Nowhere to Turn: A Robyn Hunter Mystery. Copyright © 2009 by Norah McClintock. All rights reserved.