A butterfly collector is swindled out of everything he has by a villain called Gulliver Truepin - a man with one major distinguishing feature, a glass eyeball. His son Hector, our hero, sets out for revenge, but his search for the villain takes him to the sinister gothic mansion called Withypitts Hall and into contact with its twisted inhabitants. Hector must decide between his own morality and conscience and the urge for vengeance for the wrongs done to his father.
This book can be read as a stand alone, but it is much better if you have read the 2 predecessors (The Black Book of Secrets
and The Bone Magician
) due to the interlinking which is occurring in the story. There are a number of characters which appear (mainly) in Black Book
The author, F E Higgins, catches the atmosphere remarkably well; the novel is dark and filled with menacing characters, each with their own individual demons. This is amazing considering that this is only her 3rd book.
As with other reviewers I have noticed a Discworld-like way to these books (a chorus of "there's only one Terry Pratchett" ran round my mind as I typed that); it is possible that she is even trying to be a little Tolkien-esk in style. Don't get me wrong it's still a great book, and a great read, although my favourite so far has to be Black Book.
It may be a little dark for some of the younger readers, so it may be best with teenagers - but parents/guardians will be able to judge their child best. With a little extra work (and it is only a little extra) the author could turn this into a best seller in the adult market.
I have enjoyed this book, as did my friend's teenage son (we read it in one go). I will be getting the next book that Miss Higgins publishes.