Maximum Security is the third book in the CHERUB series.
Over the years, CHERUB has put plenty of criminals behind bars. Now, for the first time ever, they've got to break one out.
Under American Law, kids convicted of serious crimes can be sentenced as adults. Two hundred and eighty of these child criminals live in the sunbaked desert prison of Arizona Max.
In one of the most daring CHERUB missions ever, James Adams has to go undercover inside Arizona Max, befriend an inmate and then bust him out.
James goes undercover with Dave Moss and Lauren Adams comes along. They are on a joint FBI - CHERUB operation to bust Curtis Oxford out of prison so Jane Oxford, No.2 of 'the worlds most wanted' list, will come out of hiding and into a trap.
But this is no easy mission. James Adams and Dave Moss are up against some of the worlds most dangerous criminals - muderers, rapists, robbers ect. ect. - And inside the jail, there are stabbings, shootings, beat-ups, neck breaks... the list goes on.
When James first gets in, he mixes with the Latino's - there are blacks on one side of the jail, and whites on the other. Curtis is with the whites. Now, two thugs try to kill James, and he breaks one's neck, and Dave almost kills the other. Unfortunately, Dave is asleep whilst one comes back for revenge, and James is left to fend for himself. When Dave does wake up, a hack (a cop) comes in and shoots Dave with a plastic baton round, leaving him helpless and screaming. Dave goes into the hole (no food or water, and left in an uncomfortable position) for two days. But then, when he gets out, the FBI realises that Dave has blood clotted under his ribs - and he gets pulled out of the mission, leaving James by himself.
James ends up making friends with two pyschopaths who happen to be the bodyguards of Curtis. Their names are Elwood and Kirch, and he gets through to Curtis. Though it takes time, he convinces Curtis (using his undercover backstory) that he can get out of the prison. With the FBI's help, he pepper-sprays, karate-chops, karate-kicks, and shoots his way out of the prison, with Curtis in tow.
Lauren Adams waits for them as they come out. They steal a car, but soon after, the prison realises that they have escaped. They are now classified as murderers (The faked death of Scott Warren was part of the plan) and the police are out looking for them. They switch cars - and police catch them in a road block. But thanks to the quick thinking of Lauren Adams, and some stun grenades - they get away, and drive to a caravan park. A lady comes out with a baby girl and shotgun and threatens to shoot them, but James (using 4 grand) bribes the lady to driving them deeper into the states. She reluctantly agrees, and when James, Lauren and Curtis get out, they travel to an old friends - and stay there.
While they are there, Curtis goes on long walks to draw, James cheats on Kerry and snogs Becky, and Lauren makes friends with horses. After about one week or two, Eugene and Bill (contract killers working for Jane Oxford) come to pick them up, and they put them in a hotel, and issues James and Lauren fake passports for Canada. But Jane changes her plan on the day, and Eugene goes to kill James and Lauren while Curtis leaves with Bill. But Lauren gets the better of him and stabs him in the neck with a biro pen.
Marvin Teller (FBI) follows Bill and Curtis, with the help of other special agents such as John Jones, Scott Warren and others. Jane Oxford goes to meet them, and the FBI can't believe their luck when Curtis jumps out of the car and hugs her. Scott gets out and tells them to put their hands up, and then Bill gets out and aims at Scott, but then Marvin gets out and shoots Bill in the back.
The mission finishes with Dave at CHERUB campus, James not telling anyone about Becky, Lauren getting a navy shirt, Kerry getting her navy shirt, Jane and Curtis Oxford in jail, and Eugene and Bill getting sentenced to death by lethal injection.
- Near the start of the book, it mentions a plaque in the boy's gym that reads, 'Any boy bringing in mud or dirt on his plimsolls will be thrashed- P.T. Bivott (Sports Master)' This is a reference to the Henderson's Boys series as P.T. Bivott is one of the early CHERUBs. This is confirmed at the end of Scorched Earth when it tells us that P.T. goes on to become post-war CHERUB's sports master.