Publisher: Doubleday Canada
An unusual mystery, a heartrending love story, this is an exciting plot-driven new book from leading Canadian YA author William Bell.
     Fifteen-year-old Aidan has had more foster parents than he cares to remember. Careful to always keep his distance from those around him, and aided by a deep well of self-reliance and tenacity, he longs for the day that he's old enough to strike out on his own.
     That day comes sooner than he could ever have imagined. On a miserable March afternoon, Aidan's life is changed so radically as to become unrecognizable. Through a near-tragic event in which he saves the life of a young boy, Aidan earns the gratitude and unqualified support of the child's grandfather, Mr. Bai, a man of wealth, great resources and shadowy influence. When asked how this man can help repay him, Aidan replies, "Can you make me disappear?"
     With a new identity, an apartment, a job and finally a sense that he's crafting his own destiny, Aidan--now Julian Paladin--finds himself at the centre of forces he can't begin to understand. Who exactly is Mr Bai and who are the mysterious women that come and go without a trace in the apartment below? How did Julian find himself taking on a job surveilling a university student and her possibly abusive boyfriend? And, the most potent mystery of all: how can he ever be without the bewitching and beautiful Ninon, who reveals a dimension of life Julian had never thought possible.
     Julian is part detective story, part romance, and part quest for a life of independence and meaning.


"An enthralling, unpredictable novel that will please its YA audience and captivate many adult readers as well. . . . Bell has crafted a complex, rich, and realistic protagonist and a well-developed world. . . . a powerfully impressive piece of storytelling that is much greater than the sum of its parts: alternately thrilling, heartbreaking, and affirming."
Quill & Quire, starred review

"A compelling mystery/love story from prominent Canadian YA author William Bell."
CBC Books

From the Trade Paperback edition.