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The International Writers Magazine:

The Catkin by Nick Green
ISBN: 978-0-571-23481-3
Faber &Faber Paperback

• Sam North review

Ben lives with a divorced mother in a flat threatened with demolition by a ruthless developer called Stanford. Tiffany lives with parents who virtually don’t notice her, so obsessed are they by their sick son and their own lives.

By chance both enrol in an after school activity in Mrs Powell’s class. Ben thinks it’s a tae kwon do, Tiffany thinks it’s something to do with caring for cats. Who knows what the other kids think it is, but one thing for sure is that it utterly weird and not a little wonderful.

Mrs Powell takes them away from the leisure centre claiming it is double booked and teaches class in her sparse apartment in an old council block. The kids are all too embarassed to leave, even when half the class seems to be taught by the woman’s cat! What is going on? Too late Ben realises this is not Tae Kwon Do but Pashki, the lost art of cat kin. They are going to learn to be cats!

After the first class Ben decides it is a waste of time, Tiffany is fascinated, however and the other kids are well, not sure. Nevertheless, all of them turn up for the next class and the art of cat kin is being slowly learnt. There’s a lot too it, movement, dance, climbing, growing metaphorical whiskers and claws…

Soon Mrs Powell has them climbing trees, invading peoples gardens, getting chased by police, seeing in the dark and all of them start to feel exhilarated by the strangeness of the art and the intensity of Mrs Powell. Like Ben and Tiffany, Danile, Olly and Cecile slowly realise that this is all quite unique and there is a thrill in learning something no one else knows.

But what is the terrible connection between the ruthless evil Stanford who threatens Ben’s mother and ends up demolishing her flat and the wonder drug Panthacea that Tiffany’s parents insist her brother takes. Ben asks his father for help but he gets beaten up by Standford's henchmen. Tiffany scared of what might be in her brother's pills tries to hide them and is accused of hating her brother as a result.
Ben and Tiffany are rivals in cat kin skills and each has achieved amazing abilities, skimming from tree to tree, almost being invisible to policemen's gaze. Now finally they team up to discover the awful secret of Panthacea and the evil that lurks in an abandoned factory in Hackney.

When you walk on the wild side with the young cat kins you begin to understand the power of cats and exactly why Mrs Powell is training her little cat kins. But what is the real secret of Mrs Powell? What exactly is she up to?

The Cat Kin is a fast read, a thrill, filled with intensity and passion. A perfect read for any young reader who seeks adventure in their backyard.
Sam North Feb 2008

Another Place To Die
by Sam North

ISBN: 978-1-84753-899-4
The Next Great Flu Pandemic is coming. Are you prepared?

Fascinating, frightening and compelling, Another Place to Die is the ultimate page-turner which I guarantee will result in many late nights under the bedside light with you uttering, ‘just one more chapter!!’ Ian Middleton

Read the first chapter on line
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Another Place To Die

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