Crocodile Tears (Alex Rider series, book 8)
by Anthony Horowitz
Philomel Books (Penguin), 2009.
It's been ten years and eight books since Anthony Horowitz introduced the world to Alex Rider, teen spy. MI6, Britain's intelligence agency, has been using Alex since the death of his uncle who was, in fact, one of their top spies. Alex learned to drive motorcycles and fast cars and learned hand-to-hand combat and martial arts under his uncle's tutelege. This makes him the perfect fit for MI6. Another reason the agency loves him--no bad guys would ever suspect a 15 year old school boy as a spy.
Crocodile Tears is energetic, thrilling, and a taut adventure. An ex-con brilliant madman turned billionaire who has convinced the world that he is a man of God, Desmond McCain, runs an international charity named First Aid. Using this charity, McCain collects millions of dollars from wealthy nations who channel it to his charity to sites of international tragedy. First a nuclear accident happens in India and then a planned famine in Africa. McCain causes each tragedy to happen and then uses his charity to make billions for himself. His ego-maniacal view of the world makes him dangerous to everyone, especially Alex, when he stumbles upon McCain's plans to infect millions of people and animals in Africa with a genetically infected wheat.
Readers who enjoy espionage, terror, and adventure will like this books. Fans of earlier Alex books will like this one. Recommended for YA collections grades 5-up. Suitable for high school adventure and espionage readers.