Sure Fire (Rich and Jade Series #1)

Sure Fire (Rich and Jade Series #1)

by Jack Higgins, Justin Richards


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For twins Rich and Jade, their lives have just been turned upside down. When their mother is tragically killed in a car crash, their long-lost father, John Chance, appears to collect them at the funeral. He’s a bachelor who lives on his own, and it’s clear that Rich and Jade aren’t welcome. But when Chance suddenly disappears, Rich and Jade uncover the truth: He’s a spy. And now, whoever kidnapped their father is after them, too. Sure Fire is a gripping adventure from the master of the modern thriller.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142412138
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/04/2008
Series: Rich and Jade Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 753,470
Product dimensions: 8.24(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.69(d)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Jack Higgins lives on Jersey in the Channel Islands.
Justin Richards lives in England.


Q & A – Sure Fire: Jack Higgins with Justin Richards

Why did you write a book for young adults and what interests you about this audience?

Jack Higgins: The astonishing thing about young adults is their ability to cope with literature at the highest level. I gave my 9–year–old granddaughter a copy of A Christmas Carol and she devoured it and loved it.

Justin Richards: I write mainly for children. There are lots of reasons for that. One is that when my older son, Julian, was about 9 years old he was a very good reader, but it was difficult to find books that were challenging enough yet still appropriate to and interesting for his age group. Partly because of that I started writing The Invisible Detective.

I think writing for children is more liberating and also challenging to a writer – writing for older children in particular. They are much more discerning than adults in many ways. They don't let you get away with anything. Today, a child's attention span is much shorter so there's a challenge there to grip and hold their attention. I think there's more leeway in children's and young adults' literature. You can write the most fantastical stuff and its not pushed away into some niche or seen as being some minority genre. For instance, I think if Philip Pullman's Dark Materials Trilogy had been published explicitly for adults they'd have been badged and sold as science fiction / fantasy and wouldn't have had the impact – people would not have found them, let alone realized how they use the fantastical, other–world elements to talk about ourselves here and now and how the real world works. Ordoesn't.

Which of Rich's characteristics would you most like to have and why? What about Jade?

Jack Higgins: Rich gives a false impression of the kind of person he is. He's quite capable of handling the rough stuff, danger and so on. And that's good because it fools the bad guys. Jade has taken over to a remarkable degree. She's quite simply a female James Bond.

Justin Richards: Rich is quite analytical. He has a knack of seeing the wood despite the trees – of understanding what's really important in a situation, even under pressure. I like that. He may be frightened, or out of his depth, but he's still able to make decisions and get going to do what he believes is the best thing. Jade is rather more emotional. But because she has no qualms about speaking her mind, you know where you are with her. There's an honesty there which I admire. She doesn't take to people immediately – they have to win her trust. But once they do, she's going to stick by them. And heaven help anyone who betrays her!

Are there any parts of Sure Fire that are based on current events?

Jack Higgins: Yes. Problems with all kinds of fuel, oil and gas are to a certain extent creating a cold war with Russia again.

Justin Richards: Despite what I said about having a license to tell the most fantastical stories, Sure Fire is anchored very much in the real world. Krejikistan may not be a real place, but the sorts of things happening there – in both politics and the economy, the way the crime lords are taking over, the dependence on Russia for fuel . . . All that is going on in various places in eastern Europe. We've brought several of those situations together and increased the pressure as a result. But everything that happens could be for real. As for whether it's actually based on real events – well, yes. The fuel arguments between the Ukraine and Russia is an obvious 'source'. But once you get into the murky worlds of espionage and special operations, then the truth is often more bizarre than the fiction. There are things that do happen in the real world – like radioactive assassination, to take a recent example – that we'd never get away with in a book. The readers just wouldn't believe it could happen!

Who were your favorite authors growing up and who are your favorite authors now?

Jack Higgins: Growing up: Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Anthony Hope, J Rider Haggard

Now: Wilbur Smith

Justin Richards: Thrillers – from Enid Blyton's Famous Five on to 'classic' thriller writers like Alistair Maclean and – yes, Jack Higgins has always been a favourite author of mine. So working with him is a dream come true. Other modern writers I admire very much, writing for young adults – Philip Pullman, Anthony Horowitz who has given children's adventure stories such a boost, Stephen Cole, Jonathan Stroud . . . We are so lucky to live in an age where there are so many good children's writers and their work is appreciated and respected – and a lot of that is thanks to JK Rowling, another favourite of course...

What advice can you give to aspiring writers?

Jack Higgins: People always say, "write what you know". This is false information. What you need as a professional writer is the gift of creativity. Most writing is make–believe.

Justin Richards: If you want to write, if you want to improve and learn as a writer, then the two most important and useful things you can do are – read and write. The more you read, the more you will understand how words can be put together, how they work, how to do the job if you like . . .

And while you definitely need some talent and skill, writing is also a craft. It's like a sport that you have to train for. The more you do it, the more you practice, the better at it you get. Try to write something every day – even if it's an email or letter. Keeping a journal is a good idea. The great thing about writing is you can do it for pleasure, just for your own enjoyment. If you want to be published and make it a career, then that takes a lot of hard work as well as talent. And it takes a lot of luck too. So – good luck!\

Customer Reviews

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Sure Fire (Rich and Jade Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My 12 yr old son got the book and read it, I then read the book. Very good book a classic Jack Higgins book.
mrdarcy3 More than 1 year ago
Jade and Rich's mother recently died in a car accident, leaving them with a father they've never known. They had no idea they existed the funeral. Now, they are stuck together in a small apartment hoping for the best. At first their father decides to send the twins to boarding school for the rest of the term so he can finish a project. But the twins reject that idea. They're still trying to learn all of his quirks, but he's been acting so strange with blocks on the phone, passwords for his computer, and late night phone calls that turn into meetings. When he disappears, they discover the truth --that there father is a spy and they might be the only ones who can save him. Jack Higgins writes adult spy novels, so it's awesome that he and Justin Richards team up to create a fast paced novel. Fans of Alex Rider are sure to love the action, adventure, and excitement surrounding the twins.
Eric Bush More than 1 year ago
Jach Higgins did a good job providing a fast paced, on the edge of my seat, action spy novel. good job jack,
lhicks5 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm not normally drawn to adventure books, but this one kept my attention. Parts were somewhat violent/graphic for my taste, but overall it was a good book and one that would grab the attention of any young reader who loves adventure and a good plot.
shannonkearns on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
overall a boring book and none of the characters were very likeable. the action was decent but that was about it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
.. A bursting hit! I like the book because there was lots of interesting characters like Jade, Rich, and Chance. Rich and Jade finally met their father that was a secret agent but they did not know that at the time. Chance got kidnapped and the twins got information from the people who knew their father. The twins got kidnapped and was sent to a military base somewhere in Pakistan. One reason why I think Jade is interesting is because she is like a goth ,a person with no emotions, but at the same time she is not. One reason why I think Rich is a Interesting character is because he is smart so that is good for cracking codes so you can enter secret places like vaults and rooms. One reason why I think Chance is a interesting character is because he is an agent that is kind of secret but not really and he has been lying to his children but for a good reason because he did not want them to get involve with his job.RyanCHMS14
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What would you do if you found out your father was a spy? This book was set in Krejistan and London in present day. Chance, a father of two children goes missing, so Jade and Rich have to race for survival. Rich and Jade are all on their own since their mother had just died. Now they have to do anything to get their father back. I think this book was one of the best novels I have ever read. Jack Higgins, the author, is very good at writing action pact novels. There are bombs, guns, fire, and any kind of army force you could think of. I recommend this novel to people who like fast-action paced and suspense novels. Hibah K.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me turning pages till 2 a.m! I need to read the whole sries again
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