Between, Adele Broadbent
As a young adult novel, BETWEEN, is a little firecracker of a story, mostly because Olly is a wonderful character. Grounded, a lot, in the relationship between the slightly naughty Olly, who is constantly drawn to Mad Martha, despite the blanket family ban on contact, the other side of that is the sort of mildly exasperated, slightly amused / confused manner of mums the world over. That he's forbidden to speak to Mad Martha is, exactly as you'd expect, a red rag to a gentle, kindly little bull, who knows his family is a bit fractured, that his father died before he was even born, and his aunt is a tattletale, but he loves his Mum, everything about soccer (football), and likes spending time with his mates. It's just that he has less than zero impulse control - in a good way.
For people looking for crime fiction styled novels, this is much more of a family mystery, and even then it's considerably more on the what nobody is saying side, than tricky to nut out side. It is, however, an extremely engaging book and would have been tremendous fun to read although exactly what age group is somebody more qualified's call. Olly's a great kid and the slightly naughty side seemed to fit with those of a younger persuasion, although the mild paranormal / spooky stuff might have some people leaning towards the slightly older age group. I remember as a kid there was absolutely nothing in this world better than naughty kids or ghost stories, but that was a very long time ago, and parenting seems to have changed a lot since then. From this reader's perspective, BETWEEN is exactly the sort of good-natured, adventuring, slow build, slightly spooky / paranormal style, with a slightly naughty kid from a loving and concerned family (including mildly nutty members) story that was enormously entertaining.
Olly lives with his Mum. When he is grounded and unable to go to soccer camp he keeps running into Mad Martha who wanders the streets with her shopping trolley. He is forbidden to speak with her. Who is she, and what aren't they telling him?