Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Review of The Death Collector by Justin Richards

death collector What could possibly be scary about an elderly man coming home for tea? Oh yeah, it’s because the man coming home for tea is dead –“Four days after his own funeral, Albert Wilkes came home for tea.” The dog certainly knows there’s something wrong.  He yelps and backs away from the nightmarish figure, but can’t escape being dragged out of the house for his daily walk.  Then there’s Eddie Hopkins lurking about trying to find a likely mark for his pick-pocketing skills, who sees the old man and his dog. “…as he passed, Eddie caught a whiff of him…Eddie could almost taste the smell that was coming off the old man.  A cloying, slightly sweet smell that spoke of decay and neglect.  A graveyard stench.”  The atmosphere in this book is great, and the characters are fun, even if they are a bit typical –the young thief with his own code of honor, the strong young woman who’s smarter and braver than most of the men in her life, and the naive but sincere young man who’s instantly smitten with said young woman.  Anyway, there’s quite a lot of adventure to the story, a bit too much for my taste in the second half of the book.  It seems like one chase is barely over before the bad guys have set upon the trio again.  There is a lot of ingenuity to the monsters constructed by the industrialist Augustus Lorimore in his quest to take over the world and readers who don’t like a dull moment will probably find the amount of action just right for them.  Review by Stacy Church