Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The In-Between Years is a thriller by A.B. Plum. While this is the third book in Plum’s series, the author gives enough background information for this book to be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel. Twelve-year-old Michael and his step-brother, Dimitri, were still stunned by the events that had taken place over the last week. They had been kidnapped and taken to Finland by their captors. Michael’s father had paid the ransom and gotten them safely back to their home in Copenhagen, but his attitude towards them afterwards was anything but pleasant. He turned them over to the housekeeper, Emma, with the proviso that she not allow them out of the house, but Michael and Dimitri were old hands at manipulating her.
Before he left, he advised them that they would be departing for Buenos Aires the following morning. Michael couldn’t really understand why his father was so wrapped up in his anger. Was it the ransom he had paid? The next day, feeling more like captives than children, the two of them embarked on the journey. Neither of them were allowed the textbooks they would ordinarily have been reading; instead they were fed a diet of travel books about their destination. The house where they would be staying was a sumptuous one, as they would expect their father to have chosen, but their rooms were anything but. Michael and Dimitri’s lives had changed drastically, and it would only get worse.
A.B. Plum’s dark thriller follows the two young sociopathic geniuses as they enter training designed to ensure their father recoups the money spent on their ransom. While I hadn’t read the previous books in the series, I soon felt at home with the story and its dysfunctional and decidedly unusual young heroes. Plum’s story is well-written, and the characters have an authentic feel to them. I got involved in following as Dimitri and Michael receive the tutoring necessary to allow them to mingle with Argentinian society and especially enjoyed that section of the book where they learn the military martial art Krav Maga, and prepare themselves for their father’s assignments. This is a fast-paced and thought-provoking novel that is highly recommended.