Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Monster Within

The Monster Within by Darrell Pitt (Text Publishing)
PB RRP $16.99
ISBN 9781922182876

Reviewed by Wendy Fitzgerald

The Monster Within is the fourth book in Melbourne author Darrell Pitt’s popular Jack Mason detective series.

Once again, we are immersed in a magical world of heroes, villains, steam driven transport, mysteries, rescues and adventures. The sharp-eyed detective Ignatius Doyle is on another mission to solve crimes with the help of his two daring young apprentices, Jack Mason and Scarlet Bell.

Readers of the series will remember that the main character, 14 year old Jack Mason grew up in a circus family. After a tragic accident Jack is orphaned and sent to live in Sunnyside Orphanage in London. The orphanage is anything but ‘sunny’ and Jack is relieved when he is offered an apprenticeship with the very eccentric detective called Ignatius Doyle.

Enter feisty, red headed, strong-willed 15 year old Scarlett Bell- who originally comes to ask Ignatius Doyle to find her missing father. She ends up becoming a second apprentice detective. Together Jack and Scarlett make a formidable team. 

In The Monster Within a lawless organisation is carrying out terrorist attacks on the streets of London. Their chief suspect is The Valkyrie Circle- a world wide suffragette society who is apparently headed by someone called Lady Death.

At the same time there are sightings of a dangerous monster living in the sewers, terrifying people and eating cats.

Are these sinister events connected?

Pitt is very good at creating intriguing plots with excellent endings. I enjoy the way he pulls everything together in clever and surprising ways.

I recommend this series kids 9 years and over who like to read stories packed with action, mystery and adventure.

I think fans of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Foul, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series and Lemony Snickett’s Series of Unfortunate Events will also enjoy Pitt’s breathtaking stories. 

The Firebird Mystery, The Secret Abyss and the Broken Sun are Pitt’s first three books in this series. Stay tuned for book five, The Lost Sword, which will be published later in 2015.

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