Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Special Operations: Death Ray

Special Operations: Death Ray

Craig Simpson
Historical Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Random House UK, 2009   ISBN: 978-0552556750

Finn Gunderson and his friends Loki and Freya have been recruited by Special Operations, a branch of the British government that is doing what it can to help defeat the Nazis. After a grueling training period in Scotland, the three young people are sent to a special facility somewhere in the English countryside. Here, at Mulberry House, they are given more training so that they will be able to handle themselves when they are sent into occupied Europe. At the house they meet three other young people - Amelie, Jacques, Max - who are also being trained for covert operations against the Nazis.

Their first job as spies is to follow and watch a suspicious individual who is known as Renard. It is believed that Renard stole some highly sensitive blueprints for a top secret device. Unfortunately for the teen agents, their first operation does not go as planned. Their handlers are not discouraged however, and preparations are soon underway to get Amelie, Freya, Max, and Jacques into France. Finn and Loki are furious that they are not included in the operation, but their French simply isn’t good enough. They hate the idea that they are going to separated from Freya, but it looks as if they don’t have a choice. Or do they?

This exciting Finn Gunderson adventure continues the story of Finn and his friends. The author firmly roots his story in fact, giving his readers a very accurate picture of what is was like to be in Europe during World War II. At the back of the book the author includes a postscript in which he discusses some of the events described in the book. He also includes a section about the Playfair code, a code that was used by allied covert operatives during the war.