I am sure I will never think of Fowey in quite the same way again. This is a story of mysterious deaths and dark goings-on in the holiday resort. It is narrated by one of the two central characters, both aged 12, but we are never told her name. She is staying in Fowey at her uncle’s hotel for the summer, whilst the grandmother she lives with is away on holiday. This year she meets a boy called Miles who is also staying at the hotel and they discover they share a similar interest in the subject of murder. When dead female bodies start showing up in the sea around the coastline their morbid interest only grows. But what is behind all the murders and will the children solve the mystery?
This is a truly chilling story, told in a very matter of fact way by someone it is very hard to associate with. The narration by the female protagonist is bare and to the point. We gradually get a feel for the personality of the two children and particularly Miles, who is at the hotel with his overly possessive mother. They seem to look at everything in a clinical impersonal way, although the girl does show some fear and empathy. Underlying the murder story is the relationship between some of the main characters: there is a suggestion that the girl is being molested by her uncle; Miles has a rather ‘unhealthy’ relationship with his mother; and even the adults seem scared of someone.
This is definitely a book for the older reader. The language and underlying themes, as well as the description of the dead bodies, make this a teen read, although I am sure that many would argue that it is no scarier than some of the horror series that abound at the moment. I suspect that this will be a great hit with the intended audience.