Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Alex in Wonderland by Simon James Green

2019

Alex is gay and never been kissed.  He lives with his dad and his dad’s new girlfriend, Kendra, a property developer with exacting domestic standards.  

After a freaky accident, Alex manages to secure a job at the run-down amusement arcade, Wonderland. But the establishment is in trouble; owner Maggie keeps getting final demands for unpaid bills and the bailiffs actually turn up in one scene. There also seems to be some sabotage going on; Maggie also keeps getting threatening letters.

Who is behind it all? A rival from the pier? A local property developer? Could it even be Kendra? Is it an insider? Just as Alex is beginning to get on really well with his new found friends and even embarking on a relationship with Ben, he comes under suspicion as being the insider.  Kendra, though, gives him the proof that he isn’t involved and he manages to persuade his friends that he is innocent.

Alex and his friends try to help Maggie.  They work on relaunching the arcade. However, with the press present at the reopening a fire alarm goes off and the place burns to the ground. They also discover that the doors are locked in the mirror maze and they have to rescue people from inside.

Maggie had been behind with her insurance payments.  However, the council agree to buy the land; she is able to pay off all of her debts and move to Ibiza.  Alex and Ben are back on. Kendra and his dad take a break. Life looks promising again.     

We never do find out, however, who was behind the sabotage.        

There is a lot of humour in the book. The paperback is 387 pages.  

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