This exciting story combines the thriller and comedy genres by placing a baby genius at centre stage. Rita is not quite two years old but can already read, write, solve complex problems and narrate her own story. She can also talk like an adult – but she’s not telling anyone that because she doesn’t want people to think she’s weird.
When her family disappears and she is left all alone, Rita discovers that she isn’t the only baby with amazing intellectual powers. There are more special children out there and they are being hunted by a terrifying, ice cream van-driving clown called Mr Close. Rita has no choice but to go on the run: to avoid the attention of Mr Close and somehow try to find out what has happened to her parents and brother.
Rita is incredibly resourceful, taking advantage of an empty soft play centre to hide in and borrowing a mobility scooter to make her escape. However, even super babies need help, so she press-gangs her teenage babysitter, James, to help her with some of the leg work, and the pair’s arguments are a good source of comedy. Together they hatch plans and eat cold pizza in James’ bedroom, all-the-while listening out for the hypnotic jingle jangle of Mr Close’s Greensleeves.
Little Horror is genuinely gripping and evokes grown-up thrillers like The Bourne Identity or The Fugitive. The villain is just scary enough to have children’s toes curling, and Rita’s voice is strong enough to maintain the narrative throughout… despite only having two years’ worth of experiences to draw upon! She’s much more than just a Little Horror and so is this debut novel.