The second book in the series - I couldn't find the first at the library. The author is the writer of the series on BBC called A Touch of Frost. He understands fairly tight plotting and continuous adventure. Avalanches, chases, parkour, wind sailing, paragliding, bears, wolves and tigers, oh, my! are just part of the rollicking adventure this 15 yr old kid goes on. Hs father is in a convalescent home, where he is trying to get his memory back after being tortured and beaten up for his environmentalist activities. So his son and best friend whom this Dad is raising are sent to a boarding school in the alps, and where our hero participates in Xtreme sports. Kayaking, snowboarding, cycling, etc. He loses the race trying to help someone, decides to go for a snow run to clear his head, and the adventure begins. The character development is thin - the boy is tough, adventurous and fearless (which is explained in part),while his friend is bookish, but the other characters for the most part are cardboard. Good fun reading, and I'll read the sequel I have in my pile, but just not great reading, at least for an adult, who wonders about how a 15 yr old kid can freely travel from country to country, even when wanted by police, and how a young girl, age not specified, but she seems to like our hero, can rent a car - maybe it's a younger age in Europe? Small niggling details an adult would pick up on, but then it wasn't meant for my age group. For a young boy, or girl!, this would be a great book to get them into reading. Big enough that they can keep the story going, not too hard to read, and has strong male and female roles, and more books in the series.