Hitchcock’s readers expect a white-knuckle ride, and her latest novel – set in 19th-century Bath and filled with Gothic skylines and dastardly villains – will not disappoint... Hitchcock says that this story has been 10 years in the making, with more than 30 abandoned drafts, but you never sense this struggle in her writing. The book is aimed at readers of nine plus, even the more reluctant of whom will be swept along by the cliffhanger chapters and simple, suspenseful prose. It is a far cry from Pippi Longstocking.
Athan’s story is tense, exciting and marked by both tragedy and triumph. His dogged determination to do justice to the memory of his mentor is matched only by his desire to save his family from poverty and the influence of his evil grandmother.
With numerous twists and false trails, this is a compelling and imaginative historical thriller for middle grade readers.
Fleur Hitchcock’s latest book soars...Set in Bath a couple of centuries ago, the story delves into the seamy underside of the great spa town, full of struggling immigrants, brutal parents, crippled children and the stink of human effluvia...It’s a spirited, suspenseful adventure yarn, and its breathless action scenes and multicultural characters present a very un-Austen-like vision of Bath.