The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston

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"I tied you up because I need you to listen," Derek says. "Focus."
"Please... W-what do you want from me?"
"The truth," he says. "About what happened the night my brother died." He reaches for my left hand. "If I think you're lying..." With his other hand, he flourishes a pair of flower cutters. Curved. Sharp.
And he smiles.

When Chris wakes up in a dark basement tied to a chair, he knows that he's trapped-and why. Eight nights ago a burglar broke into Chris' home. Eight nights ago Chris did what he had to do to protect his family. And eight nights ago a 13-year-old runaway bled to death on his kitchen floor.

Now Derek wants the truth about what happened that night. He wants proof his little brother didn't deserve to die. For every lie Chris tells, he will lose a finger. But telling the truth is far more dangerous...

A riveting, edge-of-your-seat thriller from Edgar Award-nominated author Jeffry W. Johnston that explores the gray area between what is right and what we'll do to protect the people we love.


About Jeffry W. Johnston

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Jeffry W. Johnston has published about thirty-five short stories and more than two hundred articles. His first young adult novel, Fragments, was an Edgar Award nominee for Best Young Adult Mystery and a Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers selection by YALSA. He lives in the Philadelphia area with his wife and their teenage son. Visit him at
Published February 2, 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Truth

Gr 9 Up—Chris Russo wakes up in a dark basement tied to a chair. He is being held captive by Derek Brannick, who demands the truth about the shooting death of his younger brother Caleb at Chris's hands. He threatens to cut all of Chris's fingers off with garden shears if not told the truth. Eight...

Feb 01 2016 | Read Full Review of The Truth

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Lectus cn 24 Nov 2015

I cannot say that I didn't like it, but I can't say I like it either. I like that it is a book for boys (we need more of those). I guess this book kind of shows you how the system (life) can mess u...

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Lectus cn

Lectus cn 24 Nov 2015

Liked the book