The Dirt Bike Detective - Book Two

The Beast in the Shadows

Young Adult - Action
206 Pages
Reviewed on 02/15/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Savannah Aldridge for Readers' Favorite

The Beast in the Shadows is a thrilling second book in Douglas L. Hoover’s Dirt Bike Detective series. Oliver and his friends have succeeded in saving the world from mayhem and are happy to pick up another mystery to solve: what happened to the pizza their friend Spencer was supposed to deliver. Meanwhile, a mauling by a monster in the mountains makes the leader of Oliver’s middle school detective agency wonder if a werewolf may have caused both incidents. As pressure mounts to find answers, Oliver and the group work hard to solve their cases, figure out the mystery of a strange shadow, win a cursed card game against a ghost, and prevent bullies from announcing Oliver’s secret crush to the school. It’s a fantastically written and well-paced adventure that will keep readers guessing until the end.

If you are a fan of imaginative tales and quality narrators, this story is for you, no matter your age! I loved how the book continued to sway between scientific and paranormal explanations for the events of the story, with characters continuously questioning what was true. Hoover created characters that are worth getting to know and captures what it is like to be twelve, without talking down to the target audience. As a mystery novel, this book is woven together in a way that allows the reader to find the clues and watch the story come together without giving anything away too early. I experienced genuine surprise at the conclusion! Though I had not read the previous book in the Dirt Bike Detective series, Hoover expertly wrote this story to clue readers into the backstory. The Beast in the Shadows is a standalone read.

Pikasho Deka

The Dirt Bike Detective - Book Two: The Beast in the Shadows continues the series by Douglas L. Hoover. After facing the monsters of darkness with secret agent Odyssey, twelve-year-old investigator Chase is haunted by the Shadow, who insists that Odyssey is not who Chase thinks she is. While he shares this encounter with his fellow detectives, his older sister Aspyn asks for their help to search for her boyfriend Spencer, who had gone missing. Meanwhile, a mysterious creature had brutally attacked a hiker in Canyon Creek. Tracking the trail of a missing pizza, Chase, Jax, Oliver, Eduard, and Jio set off to get to the bottom of the mystery. Chase will also have to make a risky wager with the Gambling Ghost to retrieve the map of the lost silver in the Endless Mine.

Akin to Enid Blyton's sleuth stories, The Dirt Bike Detective - Book Two is a gripping mystery adventure novel for youngsters with an added touch of the paranormal. Douglas L. Hoover blends a swirling mix of mystery, adventure, and supernatural elements to make a delicious mix you can't help but love. The plotting is intricate, moving at a brisk pace with multiple underlying plot threads to bridge the larger narrative of the series. Each member of Chase's team is likable, with distinct traits that make them unique and relatable. The camaraderie between them feels genuine, and it makes them easy to root for. A fantastic mystery adventure for kids and young adults alike.

Manik Chaturmutha

The Dirt Bike Detective - Book Two by Douglas L Hoover is an upper middle-grade mystery set in Raven Ridge, Colorado. It is the second book in The Dirt Bike Detective series. The story is about 12-year-old Oliver Teller's mysterious adventures with his friends, Gio, Eduard, and Chase. The group loves solving local mysteries. When they are hired to investigate a local theft, they uncover more than they bargained for - a mysterious beast prowling about the town and has attacked a local hiker. Will the young detectives be able to solve the mystery of who or what the beast might be before the beast strikes again? To make matters worse, horrible things happen in the Raven Ridge Academy, and an infamous shadow returns to visit Chase. Are all these happenings mere coincidences, or are they somehow connected? As their investigation deepens, the kids end up in an adventurous battle for survival.

This well-written adventure captivates readers with a thrilling mystery and supernatural elements. The plot consists of several diverse characters, each bringing a different perspective to the narration. The character of Oliver reflects the hurt and pain of being subjected to bullying in the past. This is casually reflected in how he engages with another character named Ana. Through the character of Jax, the author emphasizes environmental issues caused by humans making Jax an aware individual. Thus, it inspires the readers to try and make small changes for the planet. I liked the writing style as most of the plot is narrated from the perspective of Oliver. This first-hand narration adds more depth to the plot because it engages the readers' imaginations. The vivid descriptions of the fantasy element in the plot are well done. The narration provides a complete package of action, adventure, and entertainment. The peculiar world of Raven Ridge and these kids feel real. I thoroughly enjoyed the friendship dynamics represented throughout the book. I highly recommend The Dirt Bike Detective - Book Two by Douglas L Hoover to anyone interested in a brilliantly written upper middle school novel. This title is bound to offer an entertaining reading experience to a targeted audience and all ages.

Luwi Nyakansaila

Chase has a horrible night when the mysterious shadow figure he encountered previously appears and warns him about his mythical friend, Odyssey. This information makes Oliver even more agitated because it adds to his already bad day. Oliver is desperately trying to avoid Ana Rahela, and he cannot seem to get any attention from his crush Jax. To make matters worse, he has lost his journal. Chase's sister hires the gang to investigate the case of a missing pizza that led to her boyfriend's dismissal. While running their investigations, another case of an attacked hiker pops up. Could the two cases be linked? Chase thinks they are, but Jax is skeptical about the supernatural angle of analyzing the case. The other members, Gio and Eduard, agree with Chase, but Jax's stance puts Oliver in a difficult position to choose between his crush, Jax, and his closest friend, Chase. Things go from bad to worse for Oliver when he discovers who has his journal. Find out in The Dirt Bike Detective - Book Two by Douglas L. Hoover if the group will solve these cases or if the shadow in the dark will finally catch up with them.

The Dirt Bike Detective - Book Two is the second book in The Dirt Bike Detective series and is a mystery investigative drama with a dash of supernatural and comedy. The story is fast-paced and has plot twists that make your head spin. I enjoyed this book because of how well it was written. Douglas L. Hoover has outdone himself. He managed to grab my attention from the first scene to the last. This is the second book in this series, but he wrote it as a standalone novel with a distinctive storyline. All the members of The Dirt Bike Detective gang are adorable and unique in their own right. The diversity of the members is a pleasure to read. I recommend this book to people who love teen novels with mystery, investigation, high school, and supernatural themes. You can't go wrong with this book choice.

Rolanda Lyles

The Dirt Bike Detective - Book Two: The Beast in the Shadows by Douglas L Hoover introduces Chase, Oliver, Jax, Eduard, and Gio, who were hired to investigate a local pizza theft resulting in the firing of an employee. They uncover more than they bargained for. There is a mysterious beast stalking Raven Ridge and it has attacked a local hiker. The detectives suspect it could be a werewolf, but Jax doesn't believe in them and feels that there must be some other logical explanation. Their school, Raven Ridge Academy, is no safe place either. Chase is continually haunted by ghosts, bullies harass them, and some of the teachers act suspiciously. Then one night, Chase is visited by a shadow that warns him against his friend, Odyssey. No one can be trusted. Can the team solve the pizza mystery and figure out who has been attacking locals in Raven Ridge? The young detectives have their theories, but can they prove themselves right before someone else gets hurt?

Douglas L. Hoover's The Dirt Bike Detective – Book Two is a children's mystery that jumps right into the action from the moment you start reading the first page. Hoover begins the story with an encounter that Chase had with the mysterious shadow warning him against his friend Odyssey. From there, the group of detectives begins the next part of their journey trying to protect their little town of Raven Ridge. I appreciate that Hoover still holds on to the innocence and imaginative thinking young boys have at the age of twelve. Hoover's writing is imaginative and holds your attention. There is never a dull moment with this little band of young detectives. I look forward to reading more of Hoover's work and finding out what the detectives will do next!