Trash by Andy Mulligan
Raphael, Gardo and Rat are “dumpsite boys” living in an anonymous third world country. They literally live in a village inside the city dump, and spend their days sorting through trash, looking for anything they can salvage for a little cash. As partners, Raphael and Gardo watch out for each other and share their finds, but Rat is one of the few boys who has no family, and works alone and lives by himself in an underground cave hidden someplace in the dump. When Raphael finds a wallet with eleven hundred pesos inside it, he and Gardo are thrilled, until the police come that night looking for something in a small, black plastic bag, just like the one the boys’ wallet was in when they found it. The police are acting pretty suspicious, especially considering the wallet belongs to a man who works as a household servant. Raphael decides to keep the wallet overnight, and they hide it at Rat’s place, since no one would ever go in there, not with all the rats that share the hole with him. As it turns out, there is a huge mystery involving a rich politician or is said to have robbed the country of millions of dollars. Jose Angelico, the servant, worked for this potentially crooked man, and may have stolen some money from him before fleeing. The boys also found a city map and a key with the wallet, so they are sure there is something more than a lost wallet at stake here.
Most of the book is a high speed chase as the three boys try, not always successfully, to avoid the police and figure out what Jose was hiding. The action is non-stop, making this the perfect book if you need one to finish up in a hurry. I especially liked that the author did not give to much as the story galloped along, keeping me guessing and on the edge of my seat. I recommend this title to all readers, especially those looking fora fast-paced mystery.