Jimmy Coates is a regular 11-year old boy who is suddenly forced to realize that life with his family in the ‘neo Democratic State of Great Britain’ must come to an abrupt end. Jimmy himself has also changed: he develops sensations that start at the pit of his stomach forcing him to think and do things out of his control; He can sense things more acutely, his reflexes are magnified, he can run and swim faster than he ever could before, he is stronger, able to execute perfect martial arts moves he never even knew he possessed and he can even fly a helicopter. The bad news though is that he is now on the run from people who he believes are out to harm him, his parents have been kidnapped, he’s not sure where his sister is and every time he asks for anyone’s help, he puts their life in danger too. And worst of all? He can’t trust anyone.
This is a fantastic, fast-paced book that is gripping from its first pages when things quickly begin to kick off as soon as a group of suited men arrive at Jimmy’s house one evening demanding to see him. His mum shouts ‘run Jimmy’ and that is exactly what he does, but not before he sees his parents placed into a black van with a green stripe and driven away. Everything about Jimmy’s old life is officially over. Along the way Jimmy meets an interesting character called Mitchell and gets a private audience with Ares Hollande, the British Prime Minister. In a horrific twist of events Jimmy is ordered to assassinate a certain Christopher Viggo if he is to save his family.
Thankfully, Jimmy is not alone. With the help of a few loyal and very brave friends like Felix Muzbeke (who is a smart and very funny character), Eva and others he meets along the way, Jimmy not only gets the help he needs but also manages to uncover a whole web of intricate lies, intrigue, suspense, and spies to boot. Ultimately Jimmy has to deal with the biggest revelation of all: who he really is and how that will affect not only the outcome of the mission he has been tasked with but with making sure his family and friends remain safe in the process.
‘Jimmy Coates: Killer’ is an adventurous, thought-provoking thriller that is also about friendship, family, loyalty, humanity and the decision to do the right thing when all that is expected of you is to do otherwise. It was written in 2005 by British writer Joe Craig and is the first book in the Jimmy Coates’ series. In the US it is published under the title ‘Jimmy Coates: Assassin’. It was a finalist for the 2006 Manchester Book Award, and won the Bolton Children's Book Award 2006.