By Author / Illustrator
Suspense & Thrillers
Hot Key Books
Paperback / softback
The alluring yet corrupt STAGS society, where the rich and privileged play fast and loose with the lives of others, is revealed to be terrifyingly global ...Shafeen's father, Prince Aadhish, has had a heart attack and is close to death. Desperately worried, Shafeen and Greer race from STAGS to Rajasthan. But Prince Aadhish is in a coma and unresponsive and they begin to realise that the Prince received a terrible shock, triggered by a decades-old guilty secret. But as Shafeen and Greer attempt to unlock the secret, they come to believe the answer lies with the de Warlencourt ancestor Colonel Montgomery, founder of the T.I.G.E.R. shooting club, which horrifyingly pursued low-caste Indians instead of tigers. It appears that 'Monty' brought the Order of the Stag to India, and the hunts may still be going on...A thrilling next instalment in the STAGS series.
Greer is now in her final year at St Aidan the Great boarding school and, with the shocking events from Longcross Hall as a vivid memory, tries to press the Abbott for further details on the F.O.X.E.S society. She is soon shocked to find out, however, that the huntin' shootin' and fishin' horrors from the S.T.A.G.S elite are played out across the world, including in India where Shafeen's family live. More than that, secrets are hidden there amongst the privileged few, along with someone who is all too familiar.
TIGERS is the fourth book in the S.T.A.G.S series and like its counterparts, it stands well on its own. This is the first book, however, where I felt some background would come in useful. Having said that, this series is so compelling that I expect most will have read the previous books before arriving at this instalment, and it did not disappoint.
After a quick rewind and explanation of the F.O.X.E.S society, and their relevance and opposition to S.T.A.G.S, Greer is quickly catapulted into India and the T.I.G.E.R.S club as Shafeen's father suffers a heart attack. As Greer and Shafeen try to find the reason for his sudden illness, they uncover not only his father's secrets but those of the club and also an encounter with someone from the past. This book follows in a similar vein to the others; the powerful elite and their abhorrent practices as well as uncovering family connections and surprises. What I felt has changed in this instalment was a slightly more explicit and adult content. It is minor but needs a mention, as I don't remember this from the previous books.
Bennett includes some beautiful descriptions of India and immerses the reader in the culture with the smells and surroundings, as well as delivering some history and explanations of customs, faith and hierarchy. This makes the book much more interesting and relevant to the plots included. Bennet cleverly links this new arena with England and its counterparts, thus bringing the story full circle and back to Longcross Hall. I loved the twists and turns once again and although less explosive in nature this time, they were just as explosive in revelations for all the right reasons.
This is a book for modern times and I feel Bennett has got it just right. Young adults will love this latest chapter of the S.T.A.G.S series and it is possibly my favourite. I would recommend readers start with book 1 if they haven't read any of the previous books, it is certainly worth the effort and they are all very enjoyable. I look forward to the last in the series as I'm sure it will pack a punch. Recommended.
288 pages / Reviewed by Lorraine Ansell, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 14+