Saturday 26 February 2011

Book Review - Scarper Jack & The Bloodstained Room

Title: Scarper Jack & The Bloodstained Room
Author: Christopher Russell
Publisher: Puffin
ISBN-13: 978-0141322582

'I heard a murder being planned.' Scarper Jack is a chimney-sweep's boy and he's actually in a chimney when he hears two voices planning a murder. He knows where and when it's going to happen; but there's no way he can stop it. With the help of two unexpected friends; a posh boy and a sewer rat of a girl ; he sets out to solve the mystery and track down the murderer. Only to find that it can be dangerous to know too much . . .
My Review
I love these sort of mysteries and was grabbed by the cover and intriguing cover, The blurb sounded interesting so I decided to add it to my pile. I have never read anything by this author and he was pretty unknown to me, well not anymore, this book was so good, I will be reading other works by this author.
Jack is a sweeps boy, his mother isn't around anymore and his father sold him a few years before, so he stays with a Chimney sweep and works for his board. When a difficult chimney gets blocked Jack volunteers to climb up and dislodge the brush, but whilst he is up there he hears a murder being planned in the house next door. But he has no way of stopping it. He makes friends with a street girl and a posh young boy and although unlikely companions the three make a good group and set out to solve the crime. But knowing too much can be dangerous.
I found the plot very well structured and it flowed well, I was kept hooked in the story and had to know what would happen. There were a few twists and surprises and some laugh out loud moments and lots of suspense. I really enjoyed the book and hope there may be more in this series sometime. Jack is a great character - a mixture of cheeky, confident, happy and lonely, lost young boy, he comes to life off the page and it feels like your climbing the rooftops and running the streets with him.
An unusual tale and not well known, but i would suggest it. Try to find a copy - it's definitely worth it. 

My Rating
I would give this book 9/10, a great adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat.   

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