1 November 2008

Review: THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY, Siobhan Dowd

Random House Children's Books, 2007, 978-0-375-84976-3, 323 pages

Kat and Ted's Aunt Gloria is coming to London to stay with her sister Faith on her way to New York. She has her son Salim with her, and they decide to take Salim to ride the London Eye, the giant Millenium wheel. The queue is very long and they jump at the chance when they are offered a ticket that enables Salim to get on the ride almost immediately. While the mothers have a coffee, Kat and Ted watch Salim's capsule rise into the air. The ride takes exactly 30 minutes and when the passengers get off, Salim is not amongst them. How can he have disappeared?

This story is told through Ted's eyes. We know right from the beginning that Ted is a little different. He has some sort of syndrome, his family says his brain is like a super computer, and he is preoccupied with facts and figures and the weather. Ted asks the questions that others won't ask, sometimes because it would be impolite, but Ted always wants to know why things happen. True to form Ted comes up with nine theories about how Salim disappeared. The adults aren't much interested in Ted's theories particularly after the police are involved. But in the long run it is Ted who works out by his own peculiar logic what has happened.

I read this book because of a recommendation on one of the lists I belong to. It was only as I began reading that it dawned on me that it isn't adult crime fiction, but a book written for teenagers, and probably the younger end of that spectrum. That doesn't mean that an adult won't enjoy it though. It reminded me of Mark Haddon's THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME. Like that book, THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY, sends the reader away feeling that you have a better understanding of young people like Ted.

My rating: 4.2

You might remember the other day that the book sent me scurrying off to research Millenium Wheels. A gem that I gleaned then was "Unlike the London wheel, passengers will be able to board from both sides of the Beijing attraction. " The fact that passengers leave and enter the capsules through the same door on the London Eye is an important clue.

When I went to research the author Siobhan Dowd, I found that she has 4 published novels:
A Swift Pure Cry (2006)
Solace of the Road (2007)
The London Eye Mystery (2007)
Bog Child (2008)
A PURE SWIFT CRY was nominated in the Carnegie Medal Best Novel category.

At her website I also found this :
Siobhan Dowd passed away on Tuesday 21st August 2007.
A trust has been set up in Siobhan's name to manage all the proceeds from her literary work. The aim of the Siobhan Dowd Trust will be to help disadvantaged children to improve their reading skills and experience the joy of reading. It will offer financial support to: public libraries; state school libraries (especially in economically challenged areas); children in care; asylum seekers; young offenders and children with special needs.
Her 5th book SOLACE OF THE ROAD is due to be published in February 2009.

Read the first chapter of THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY online.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What do you think would be the resolution,the conclusion,? If you were writing it for like a foldable what would you write?


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