New York : Philomel Books, 2005
IL5-8, RL 5.8
was trying to figure out the meaning of Yassen Gregorovich’s last words.
He said, “Go to Venice. Find Scorpia. And you will find your destiny.”
The trouble was that Alex had no idea what Yassen had meant. Scorpia could
be a person, or a business or a building or a street. It could be almost
anything. As Alex walked with Tom, something out of the corner of his eye
caught a flash of silver. He turned his head. There was nothing. A canal
leading away. Another canal crossing it. A single motor cruiser sliding
underneath a bridge. The usual façade of ancient brown walls, A
church dome rising above the red roof tiles. Then the cruiser turned and
Alex saw it a second time a silver scorpion decorating the side of the
boat. He started running and dodging in and out of alleys, trying to find
the cruiser. After a long chase, he finally found it. It was a typical
Venetian palace, pink and white. The place was unforgettable. It faced
the grand Canal, but it was sinking into it. It was impossible to say where
the water ended and the palace floor began. One side was reached by land,
and there were lots of men carrying boxes and crates, Champagne bottles,
fireworks, and different kinds of food. They were preparing for some kind
of party. Alex asked and it was a masked ball for the birthday celebration
of Signora Rothman. Alex hadn’t been invited, but he had already decided
that he had to go. He had to see if this was Scorpia. Alex dressed as a
Turkish slave, and with Tom’s help he managed to get inside the pink and
white palace. Alex knew he couldn’t linger too long. He was the only teenager
in the place, and it was only a matter of time before someone noticed him.
He saw a gallery and went through a door. He heard muffled voices and there
was nowhere to hide. He stood against a wardrobe and he hoped that he wouldn’t
be noticed. They went by and after they left Alex went through the same
door. He was in a huge room at least thirty yards long. The floor was polished
wood, and everything was white. There was a massive fireplace made of white
marble with a white tiger-skin rug spread out in front of it. Alex could
think of nothing more disgusting. White bookshelves lined the far wall,
a white antique table with a TV and a remote device. Opposite the fireplace
stood a solid walnut desk, Alex went over to it. He looked for security
cameras and then tried one of the drawers. It was open but only contained
some writing papers. The next drawer had a brochure with a yellow cover
and the name Consanto Enterprises. There was an address of Via Nuova, Amalfi.
As he was thinking about what he had heard in the hall, something moved.
Alex was sure that he was alone. He was surprised that there had been no
sign of security, particularly if this was Mrs. Rothman’s office. Alex
was suddenly aware that something had changed. It took him a few seconds
to realize what it was and at once he felt the hairs on the back of hiss
neck stand on end. What he had taken for a tiger skin rug had just stood
up. It was a tiger, angry and alive. It was the largest living cat in the
world. A Siberian Tiger! Alex tried to move but found that he was terrified.
Rooted to the spot. The tiger growled, a low rumbling noise, more terrible
than anything Alex had ever heard. He tried to move again, to put something
between the two of them. But there was nothing. The tiger took a step forward.
It was preparing to leap. Its eyes had darkened. It growled a second time,
louder, and it leaped. What happens to Alex? Read Scorpia by Anthony Horowitz
Sabotage, Corruption, Intelligence and Assassination
(By Marilyn Bunker, http://booktalkingcolorado.ppld.org, Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award Nominees 2009)
Spies -- Fiction.
Terrorism -- Fiction.
Orphans -- Fiction.
Italy -- Fiction.
London (England) -- Fiction.