How the story began

Ideas to discuss

Read chapter one







'The slam of a car door, a scuffle, a cry and a dull, wet thud. When 18-year-old Fin sees a girl falling through the mist from a bridge, he knows it was no accident or suicide bid. She dies in his arms. That's how this tense adventure starts. As he tries to piece together her story, he uncovers a secret that relates to his missing sister and exposes the dark underbelly of an island community he thought he knew. Like The Witness, Jauncey's last teen novel, THE RECKONING combines page-turning excitement with serious political and ethical issues. This one sees Perthshire-based Jauncey take the microscope to terrorism and bigotry and the complex interface between good and evil.'

 The Herald


'...a thriller for intelligent and sensitive teenagers ... deeply poetic and reflective, full of rich and evocative  language and concerns - family breakdown, a threatened community, racism - which haunt every generation.'

The Big Issue


'It's an incredibly powerful opening to James Jauncey's latest young adult thriller. There's almost a Hardyesque sympathetic background as the mists roll in across the cold Scottish beach, the shock of sudden violence, and a tremendously moving death scene of tenderness between strangers. And it creates an immediate and sympathetic connection with the central character that lasts all the way through the book. It'll stay with me for a long time.'


'THE RECKONING is ... both a tense thriller and a moving man-into-boy story.'

The Telegraph


'The logical basis of THE RECKONING has been carefully worked out, and probing its dreadful activities involves Fin, along with his family and friends, in highly risky activity within a place that is gradually revealed as not merely mysterious but downright dangerous. Nothing would induce me to breathe a word about the plot, except that it had me turning pages at three in the morning, quite unable to turn out the light and settle down until I knew what would happen next. And next, and next… '

Arran Voice


‘In this adventure thriller the characters are faced with family alienation, prejudice, terrorist atrocities and a secretive corporate organisation…the issues that are covered will give students who persevere with this story plenty to reflect upon.’

School Library Association


‘A thriller encompassing everything from racism to alcoholism and disability, which may sound dark, but is an exciting read.’

Times Educational Supplement – Scotland


'A very exciting read which keeps you turning the pages'!

Teen Titles



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'It's tense and exciting . . . it asks difficult questions . . .'
Jill Murphy,