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Cadel Piggott has a genius IQ and a fascination with systems of all kinds. At seven, he was illegally hacking into computers. Now he's fourteen and studying for his World Domination degree, taking classes like embezzlement, misinformation, forgery, and infiltration at the institute founded by criminal mastermind Dr. Phineas Darkkon. Although Cadel may be advanced beyond his years, at heart he's a lonely kid. When he falls for the mysterious and brilliant Kay-Lee, he begins to question the moral implications of his studies for the first time. But is it too late to stop Dr. Darkkon from carrying out his evil plot? An engrossing thriller with darkness and humor, freaks and geeks,Evil Geniusexplores the fine line between good and evil in a strange world of manipulations and subterfuge where nothing is as it seems.
CATHERINE JINKS is a three-time winner of the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year award and was honored with a Centenary Medal for her contribution to Australian children's literature. She lives in Leura, Australia.
OneCadel Piggott was just seven years old when he first met Thaddeus Roth. Dr. Roth worked in a row house near Sydney Harbor. The house was three stories high, its garden shrouded by a great many damp, dark trees. There was moss growing on its sandstone window ledges. Curtains drawn across all its windows gave it a secretive air. Its front fence was made of iron, with a spike on top of each post; beside the creaking gate was a brass sign bearing Dr. Roths name and qualifications. Thats it, said Mrs. Piggott. Number twenty-nine. Well, we cant stop here, her husband replied. No parking. I told you to park back there. It doesnt matter. Well try down this street. Stuart, thats a one-way street. Dammit! I knew wed never find a space. Not around this area. Just shut up for a minute, will you? Mr. and Mrs. Piggott were not Cadels real parents. They had adopted him when he was not quite two years old. Mrs. Piggott was thin and blond, Mr. Piggott fat and gray. They almost never agreed about anything, but that didnt matter because they almost never met. Their busy schedules kept them away from home, and one another, a good deal of the time. At the suggestion of the police, however, they had both agreed to attend this interview. Were going to be late, Mrs. Piggott warned her husband after they had circled the block four times in Mr. Piggotts big, gleaming Mercedes-Benz. Just let us out, for gods sake. Ill park here. Stuart, youll never fit in there! Watch me. Cadel said nothing. He sat on the backseat, dressed in his good brown cords and a lambs-wool sweater, staring out the window at Dr. Roths house. He didnt like the look of it. He thought it had a murky, ominous appearance. I dont want to go, he said flatly when Mrs. Piggott got out and opened the door beside him. I know, honey, but we have to. No we dont, Cadel retorted.ily: 'Times New Roman'" Yes we do. There were no formal charges, Cadel pointed out, in his high, clear voice. It was just a suggestion. Thats right, said Mr. Piggott, yanking Cadel out of the back of the car. And when the police make a suggestion, you always follow it. Rule number one. Be careful, Stuart, youll wreck his clothes. Cadel was so smalleven for a seven-year-oldthat he didnt stand a chance against Mr. Piggott. Though he dragged his feet and hung off his adoptive parents hands like a sack of melons, he was forced across the street and through the front gate of number twenty-nine. The path beyond the gate was mushy with wet leaves. There was a rich smell of decay. The door knocker was a ring in the mouth of a snarling lions head, painted black, like the rest of the ironwork. Cadel noted with interest the switchboard near the door. It was obviously ancient, full of porcelain fuses and dial meters. The Piggotts own house was only three years old, with a state-of-the-art electrical system, so Cadel was fascinated by this dusty old relic. But he was not permitted to gaze at it for
Excerpted from Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
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