THE STARLIGHT CONSPIRACY
Steve Voake

 


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Faber and Faber/Allen & Unwin. This edition first published May, 2007
Reviewed by Sally Roddom

Fourteen year old Berry has lived the gypsy life with her mother in a dilapidated blue bus. Until now. Now that her mother has died, Social Services are going to provide her with foster parents and send her to school. She is told she has one day to pack. While half-heartedly packing she finds a birthday card from her mother containing two tickets from London to San Francisco. As she thinks about her future she becomes emotionally overwhelmed and runs off in a panic. She is rescued from being run over by a bus by an elderly man. When he hears that she has tickets to the US, he urges her to take a packet to deliver a friend in New Mexico. He says she is not to open the packet as it contains a mysterious item that has unbelievable powers. Such power that a group of evil people want the item. For the sake of the planet, they must not get their hands on it. When the old man is murdered she realises he is not joking, and she escapes out of the back window of her bus when a group of men claiming to be FBI turn up.

She links up with another runaway, sixteen year old Ell, at a music festival. Ell agrees to help her when a security guard is killed by the mysterious men who are following Berry. Fleeing to San Francisco, they quickly discover the terrorists have followed them, and they will have no qualms about killing to get their hands on the mysterious object. Berry knows that she must stay alive long enough to find the item's rightful owner - whoever, or whatever, they may be.

THE STARLIGHT CONSPIRACY is a thriller with an element of science fiction. With a fill-in back story that takes the reader from the Second World War, through the various UFO crash site cover-ups to the present day, the tension builds up quickly. Chased by terrorists, bikies and both the FBI and the CIA the reader gradually learns who the old man was, what is in the package and who they can trust. It is a gripping book with quality writing that I recommend for young and old. This is the third novel by author Steve Voake, and I will definitely be looking out for the other two, THE DREAMWALKER’S CHILD and THE WEB OF FIRE.

Nov 2007 review originally published on Murder and Mayhem

 

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