A mystery certain to appeal to your teen: My review of "Code of Silence"

Code of Silence: Living a Lie Comes with a Price

Close friends Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy are at their normal after-school destination, Frank 'n Stein's Diner, when the unthinkable happens - they witness a robbery and assault of the owner of the Diner, a man who has a special place in their lives. Their desperate attempt to escape the scene results in a chase down where one of the men sees Cooper and threatens his life. Due to some of the men being dressed in police clothes, the teens don't know who to trust. Cooper leads the others to promise not to reveal what they've seen, but they soon find themselves faced by impossible decisions and tangled up in lies. Their choices lead them to an ultimate showdown with the consequences of the decisions they have made, placing their very lives at risk.

I guarantee that any teen who picks up this book will soon find themselves immersed in the intense scenes and the action-filled plot. The characters are realistically portrayed, leaving much for the reader to identify with. I appreciated that the teens aren't perfect, but instead struggle with things like being afraid or not knowing what to do, and with making mistakes - even big ones. The consequences to their actions are natural ones, and therefore the book doesn't come across as being preachy. There is much to celebrate in this story - close friendships, loving and supportive families, and an entertaining portrayal of the reality of speaking truth or lies. It would be impossible to finish this book and not think twice about telling a lie, a lesson that all of us, no matter our age, can always be reminded about!

If you are looking for a book that will hold your teens interest, and one that you can both read and be entertained by and have a good discussion about afterwards, then look no further than Code of Silence. 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Zondervan, for the purposes of this unbiased review.


Tim Shoemaker is a speaker and author of eight books, including Dangerous Devotions for Guys; Smashed Tomatoes, Bottle Rockets, and Other Outdoor Devotionals; and Mashed Potatoes, Paint Balls, and Other Indoor/Outdoor Devotionals. He has three grown sons and has been happily married for over 32 years. His debut into the juvenile fiction market draws from his experience with kids as a volunteer youth leader for more than sixteen years.