- Skeleton Key (novel)
infobox Book |
name = Skeleton Key
image_caption = Skeleton Key Cover
language = English
series = Alex Rider series
genre = Adventure,
4 September 2001
media_type = Print (Hardback &
pages = 288 pp (first edition, paperback)
isbn = ISBN 0-1424-0102-1 (first edition, paperback)
Skeleton Key is the third book in the "Alex Rider" series written by British author
Anthony Horowitz. The book was released in the United Kingdomon July 8, 2002and in the United Stateson April 28, 2003.
Fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is needed once again by
After a job at Wimbeldon, involving drugs and Triads, MI6 give him an assignment abroad. A
Russian ex-general by the name of Alexei Sarov, who still lives in the old days of Communist Russia, is meeting with the Russian Presidentin a few days' time on a Cuban island, "Cayo Esqueleto" (Spanish for "Skeleton Key"). MI6 wants Alex to investigate. Armed with gadgets from Smithers, Alex heads off to Miamito begin his mission. There, he meets CIAagents Tom Turner (Glen Carver in U.S. version) and Belinda Troy.
There, Alex discovers that there is more to the mission than just sneaking in. The two agents are looking for a
nuclear bomb. Turner, Troy and Alex are taken to an underwater cave named the "Devil's Chimney" by a man called Garcia. They plan to infiltrate Sarov's house through scuba diving into the cave. However, upon entering the cave, the pair are killed by a trap. When Turner and Troy don't return for an hour, Alex becomes suspicious and searches for them underwater. A Great white sharkattacks Alex, but is crushed by the trap. Alex returns to the boat. Finding Garcia dead, he is kidnapped by Conrad and tied to a conveyer belt leading into grinding stones. At the last minute, General Sarov comes and saves Alex. Alex is taken to the his house. Rather than wanting Alex dead, he wants to adopt him as a son.
When the President arrives, Sarov treats them to dinner. However, the drinks are spiked. Sarov edits the interview footage of the president to humiliate him when it is broadcast. He takes Alex with him on his trip to Russia. At an airport, when attempting to contact MI6 by phone, he is caught by Sarov and brought back with him.
In Murmansk, General Sarov's men plant the bomb on a nuclear submarine in the shipyard. Because Alex refused to accept Sarov as his father, with a feeling of sadness, Sarov leaves Alex to die in the explosion, leaving his henchman, Conrad, to make sure he doesn't get away. After overpowering and killing Conrad, Alex makes a mad dash to a nearby crane to remove the bomb from the submarine. A few moments later, a large fight breaks out between Sarov's men and a Russian Army force. After Alex's removes the detonation card from the bomb, Sarov arrives and asks him to put it back in. Alex instead throws it into the water.Then Alex says that he'd rather die than be adopted by Sarov. Severely disappointed and saddened, Sarov shoots himself in the chest.
Later, in a private meeting between Blunt and Mrs. Jones, we discover that the
Russian armythat fought back was informed of the situation after the security guard at Edinburgh airport was killed, since the phone had not been hung up at the aiport. Mrs. Jones lashes out at Blunt for not being able to understand the pain Alex is feeling.
Alex, back in
London, is depressed, and goes for a walk. A girl he met at Wimbledon, Sabrina Pleasure, catches up with him. She invites him to go with her family to the South of France in a couple of weeks; Alex's mood lifts.
"Booklist" said, "There's no doubting the appeal of this action-packed spy novel!" "SLJ" said, "Fans and newcomers to the series alike, will not be disappointed with this rip-roaring escapade featuring the 14-year-old spy. This page-turning thriller leaves readers breathless with anticipation."
* [http://www.alexrider.com/ Official website of the books]
* [http://www.walkerbooks.co.uk/Skeleton-Key-1844280942 "Skeleton Key" at Walker Books]
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