Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Defender” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.44  ·  Rating details ·  170 ratings  ·  60 reviews
They call her Tiny, but Tyne Greer is six foot six, a high school basketball star who is hoping the game will be her ticket out of the slum. She lives in a run-down building called The Zoo, where her father is the superintendent. One day she discovers a crack in the wall of an abandoned basement room. And sealed up in the wall is a girl’s body. Horrified, she runs to get h ...more
Hardcover, 227 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Wendy Lamb Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Defender, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sana Depends. The book was an OK read for me but other people might really like it or really hate it.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  170 ratings  ·  60 reviews

More filters
Sort order
May 07, 2016 rated it liked it
“Defender” is a gritty mystery set in a downtrodden urban area of Toronto.

While I felt that the varied races of the characters and the realistic feel of the location were unique, there was something off about it all that I can’t quite put my finger on. It didn’t all come together in a way that could have taken it from okay to great. There were a lot of subplots occurring, and that may have been a barrier in keeping the story cohesive.

The mystery contained in the story was a good one with an endi
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Defender by Graham McNamee is just what I'm looking for to hook my seventh-graders! It takes less than 15 pages (of quick-paced writing) to get to the DISCOVERY OF THE DEAD BODY IN THE BASEMENT! I mean, what more can a girl ask for?

Tyne (aka "Tiny") lives in a Toronto apartment building where her father is the super. As the oldest, Tiny does odd jobs around the building to help out. After the discovery of a dead body in the basement, Tiny runs to her dad, who goes to check it out alone, only to
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a copy of the eArc in exchange for a fair review...

This is one of the books I freely admit I didn't know too much about, people weren't talking I wasn't seeing it all over the other bloggers blogs, or tweets. But it seemed interesting when I looked at the synopsis..

They call her Tiny, but Tyne Greer is six foot six, a high school basketball star who is hoping the game will be her ticket out of the slum. She lives in a run-down building called The Zoo, wh
Tiny lives in the slums and hopes to get out on a basketball scholarship. In the meantime, she helps her dad with his job as the maintenance guy at their apartment building. One day, she finds a dead girl's body. When her dad comes back from investigating, he tells her she must have imagined it. She knows what she saw, however, and is determined to figure out what happened. But there are people who don't want their secrets revealed and Tiny is in more danger than she realizes.
Perfect for those
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Defender will have you reading through to the very end in no time. This short 240 page book is well written, with easy transitions and a mystery that has you searching for clues alongside the characters.

Tyne Greer, aka Tiny, is six foot six, helps her dad maintain the building they live in and is in love with shooting hoops for her high school team. Stick is her long-time-friend-turned-into-boyfriend who is her ride or die and provides comic relief.

When Tyne comes across a dead girl's body, and
Bryony Nelson
Apr 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
3.5 stars.

This was an okay read. Not a favourite but it was good and had some great plot twists around some corners but I do feel like it could've been written better. In the first half, I didn't really like the writing style. It did improve further through the book though, but still.

I was also pretty disappointed in the ending. I felt like it could've been dramatic or mysterious.

This book had such a great plot but I feel like it wasn't used properly, or as well as it could have been. Tiny's gr
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tyne lives in the Zoo, a poor, rundown section of Toronto, where she helps her father, their building's super. When she discovers a girl's body hidden in the building's furnace, she inadvertently digs up dirt on her family. Who was this girl, why is she in her family's building's walls, and what does her dad have to do with all of this?

3.5 stars rated up, this was a well-written mystery that kept me on my toes. While the suspects are few, the novel keeps you guessing about what actually happened
Tiffany Lynn Kramer
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Defender certainly kept me hooks once things got going but I can't say it was entirely out of enjoyment. I've read my fair share of high school sleuth tales and have enjoyed a few but when the mystery involves a death I inevitable have a hard time getting behind it. I just can't picture teens willing to take on something like that. Unless they have a natural proclivity for finding the truth or have a personal stake in it most would either let the authorities handy it or push it to the back of t ...more
Tyne “Tiny” Greer, six foot six high-school basketball star, is an unlikely person to solve a murder that occurred in “The Zoo,” the tenement where she lives with her mother and father, the building superintendent since she was in high school. Her focus is on getting a college sports scholarship, the only hope she has of escaping the poverty in which she has been raised. When she discovers a body in a crumbling basement wall, her father insists that she only saw a
pile of trash and that side effe
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
“If you want to get past me, you’re going to have to move this giant. Because that’s what I do. It’s what I am. A defender.”

Sometimes karma works on your side, other times you have to make your own karma. A lot of times in the world, the bad guys win. Or even if they lose in the end, they won a lot in the beginning (which cost people a lot). Tyne has inadvertently stumbled upon a decades’ old mystery that she strongly suspects involves her family, so her and her boyfriend “Stick” (his nicknam
Robbie Taylor
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Do you like books about kidnapping and crime, well if you do this book is for you. It starts out with someone who thinks shes a freak finding something in the trash, she confronts her dad about it and he moves making her think that shes going crazy. She then confines in her friend to help her solve this mystery with only one solid clue they start to solve the crime. Learning dangerous secrets that were kept in her family help them, they just did not understand that someone people like their priv ...more
Angie Green
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2017
This is a fast paced, quick read that blends sports, mystery and family themes.

Tyne and Stick live in the Zoo - a run down, high rise slum in downtown Toronto. Tyne is 6 ft 6 and looking to basketball as an escape. Stick is a foster kid who is her boyfriend and best friend. When Tyne, or "Tiny", finds a girl's mummified corpse in the basement of her building, it sets her and Stick off trying to uncover the dead girl's identity. Only, will it unveil secrets close to home that might be better lef
South Brunswick High School Library
At six foot six, Tyne dominates the basketball court and hopes for a college scholarship. At home in a rough section of Toronto Tyne, or Tiny as she's called, has the support of her loving family lead by her father, Teddy, the building super. When Tiny uncovers something in the basement of her building that makes her question the motives of the father she loves along with the rest of her family, can she figure out the truth to a decades old mystery? Is the truth worth uncovering if it hurts thos ...more
Julie Davis
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
A good mystery that will appeal to your reluctant guy readers due to the sports theme. I think they will enjoy it, even though the main character is a female basketball player. Fans of John Feinstein's mysteries will enjoy this one.
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I can almost guarantee that the fast action and simple language combined with the mystery of the dead body will entice my reluctant readers. Will be interested to see if it flies off the shelf as I suspect it will.
DL Hammons
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Not much to say about this offering from Graham McNamee. Kinda like...meh. I REALLY enjoyed his ACCELERATION and BONE CHILLER, but although the writing is solid and the characters interesting, there's not much plot to get worked up about.
Nyah Robertson
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very good book but what I didn't like about the book is it took till the end of the book for things to start happening and unfolding overall I would tell people who like crime and mysteries to read this book.
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is one you pickup and cannot put down. The writing was wonderful and the charachters a bit out of the norm. I will certainly be reading this author in the future, this was my first Grahm McNamee book.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Enjoyable, fast read. I'm so glad to have another thriller/mystery to add to my recommendations for my students.
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think it's a great book to read it have a great mystery in it about a daughter and her dad in a basement that has a dead girl in it
Tiny and her family live in a run-down apartment building. Her father is the building superintendent, but his job is stressful because the owner doesn't want to spend much on upkeep. One day after a broken pipe has flooded the basement, Tiny discovers a body wedged into a wall. After Tiny tells her father about what she's found, the body disappears. Could her own father have moved the body? Who murdered the girl and why? What would you think?
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
I liked the premise, but thought it could have pushed even further with the mystery. Loved the characters.

Tyne "Tiny" Greer is anything but tiny. She's 6'6" and trying to amp up her basketball game-- hoping it will be her ticket out of the slums of Toronto. Her dad is the maintenance man of their apartment building, called "The Zoo", and she helps out when she can. During one of these helping situations, she finds a body in the basement wall. Hidden for many years, she wonders who could have don
Tia Mele
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received an advanced copy of Defender by Graham McNamee from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Graham, Netgalley, and Random House for this opportunity!
Tyne is nothing like what her name – and nickname Tiny – would suggest. Instead she’s a monster of a girl with sights set on a basketball scholarship. Her life is pretty normal for an over six-foot high schooler up until the day she finds a body in an old abandoned room at the apartment tower she lives in. Then suddenly the
Amanda Taylor
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a free ARC copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a surprising book, to me. I really enjoyed reading it because I still had not figured out "who dunnit" by the time the twist was revealed. Since I normally figure it out in the first 100 pages, this was a surprise to me. And that's part of why I enjoyed reading this book as much as I did. It kept me guessing and kept me involved, heart-racing involved to be honest, for the whole book.

Tyne is a girl who
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tyne is a 17-year-old senior whose nickname is Tiny because she’s only 6’ 6” tall. She knows basketball is her ticket out of the Toronto slums where she lives in an old, decrepit building called “The Zoo” where her dad works as Superintendent. She’s used to helping him around the building and one day when the basement floods, she heads down to clean up and ends up finding a crack in a wall that reveals a dead girl’s body.

Tiny immediately finds and tells her dad but is shocked when he returns f
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Tiny" Greer isn't tiny - and she has a big heart

I am a woman who was 6' tall in the 5th grade so I can identify with 6'6" Tyne "Tiny" Greer a bit.

There are two stories being told in DEFENDER. There is Tiny's story, a high school senior basketball player who is recovering from a knee injury and hoping for a college basketball scholarship. She lives in a high rise tenement slum called the Zoo in Toronto with her parents and her younger brother. Her Dad is the building superintendent and Tiny some
Random House Children's and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Defender, in exchange for an honest review.

Six foot six high school basketball star Tyne "Tiny" Greer sees the sport as her ticket out of the projects. Coached by her dad on the side when he is not acting as the superintendent of their apartment building, Tyne lends a hand when the tremors from road construction burst a water pipe in the basement. Tyne makes a grisly discovery, but when she passes the information along
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
In this novel by McNamee a young woman by the name of Tyne goes to help her father with a busted pipe in the basement of the apartment building that they are in charge of and while shes poking around in the almost abandoned basement, she stumbles across a dead body and it changes her life as she knows it. After she notifies her father of what she has found he goes to check it out himself. When he came back he told Tyne that he saw nothing. She begins to question her fathers character and everyth ...more
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
NetGalley. Thanks for a copy.

This will be a short review.

Defender is a decent mystery book. It is one that will keep you interested, but it's not particularly memorable in any way. The mystery is of a dead girl in a wall, whose body disappears when Tiny takes a look at the basement again. Thus, it sets Tiny off to look for the answers. Who is that girl? And what does her father have to do with the dead body?

Show, don't tell. Well, the book is more like "tell, don't show." There's quite a lot of
Daniella Picicco
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really recommend this book. If you like reading a book that will keep you wanting to read this is the book for you. The book was about a family that lives in a slum and the daughter finds a body in the basement of their building they live in. The daughter had hurt her knee and was on medicine for it so the dad told her that she was just seeing things. The daughter and her boyfriend stick don't believe her father because when they went back to the basement all they found was the bodies finger. ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Are You Still There
  • Chasing Alliecat
  • Stick
  • The Stranger Game
  • Hell and High Water
  • Fitz
  • In Place of Never
  • Blue Voyage
  • Truthers
  • Secret, Silent Screams
  • The Revenge
  • Dreaming Darkly
  • Never Ending
  • American Ace
  • Perilous (Perilous, #1)
  • No Saints in Kansas
  • Tabula Rasa (Tabula Rasa, #1)
  • Taking Aim: Power and Pain, Teens and Guns
See similar books…
Graham McNamee. Male. Caucasian. 5'10". Brown hair. Brown eyes. Do not approach. Extremely shy.

Author of: HATE YOU, NOTHING WRONG WITH A THREE-LEGGED DOG, SPARKS, and ACCELERATION. HATE YOU was an ALA Best Book for young Adults and an ALA Quick Pick, won the Austrian Children's Book Award, and was nominated for the Governor General's Award. SPARKS won the PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellows
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »