Two Tigers on a String by Josh Lacey
|Two Tigers on a String by Josh Lacey|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A high energy detective tale for the under-twelves which has some very interesting moments, but perhaps isn't as distinguished as the first in the series.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 272||Date: September 2009|
|Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books|
Ben's not too keen to be sharing his bedroom with his half-brother, Frank. But you don't have to be the hero of a detective adventure such as this book to know that as Frank's mother has vanished from the face of the Earth, Ben will let it lie - for a while. Nor is it too surprising to see the four Misfitz together, on another case, as they go on the hunt for the missing woman.
It's a linear journey for them, which is a quick read for an adult but takes in so much in the gap between the initial set-up and when we get even the first glimpse of explanation of the title, that we have to be impressed. It's a breathless rush that builds on itself solidly, only losing some realism (to us sceptical grown-ups) when certain cameo characters are spoken to in unlikely working circumstances.
My cynical side also thought up a few weeny quibbles. Frank is too standoffish and reserved at the start - he may seem to be hiding something. And again the book features such a modern take on the Blytonesque gang that Ben seems like the biggest misfit. So loudly doth he protest about school and homework when his siblings are making perfect omelettes, salad dressings - and, more importantly, whizzo plans to get the case solved.
But beyond that - and, most validly, from the point of view of the target audience - this is a convoluted family of related step- and half-siblings that the reader will most definitely wish to befriend, especially if they were as taken as I was with book one. It loses some of the quaint rural charm of the first book; in return we get a (completely self-contained) city-based struggle for the truth, with lots of clock-watching involved.
Yes, it's the paciness of this book that will set it apart from its rivals, and to repeat it shines a whole new 2010s light on amateur sleuthing teams of old as no other series I know. It might be a small step down from number one, but this number only makes me convinced this series will remain one I and many others will look out for. Roll on whatever title Josh Lacey has planned with the word 'Three' in it.
I must thank the kind Scholastic people for my review copy.
Josh's best book remains Bearkeeper, which is for a slightly more mature audience. A different missing family member can be met in The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo, which we found a perfect read.
You can read more book reviews or buy Two Tigers on a String by Josh Lacey at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Two Tigers on a String by Josh Lacey at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.