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A cat that's fun to follow,
This review is from: Atticus Claw Breaks the Law (Atticus Claw: World's Greatest Cat Detective) (Paperback)
Atticus Claw Breaks the Law by Jennifer Gray is a story about a couple of criminal masterminds that belong to the animal world, a cop who's desperate to get a promotion and a couple of kids who would do anything to shed light on a mystery.
The first thought that crossed my mind when I saw this book was: this sounds fun. And it is fun. But, it's also thought provoking, deeply human and, unavoidably, feline.
Meet Atticus Grammaticus Cattypuss Claw, a cat unlike any other. Atticus is a thief and a cosmopolitan, somebody who likes to live as a prince. At the beginning of the story we find him living the big life in Monte Carlo, but before that he's been to Moscow and Milan, Montreal, Miami and Madrid. He's been all over the world.
He doesn't need anyone, but apparently someone needs him. Thus he receives a message, delivered by a pigeon, that summons him to the small English town of Littleton-on-Sea, for a job. The message ends like this: "It will be worth your while."
So he shoos the pigeon away and then hops on a train that takes him to the northern coasts of France from where he sails to England. He hitches another couple of rides and to Littleton-on-Sea he arrives, where he meets the customers, a gang of magpies. Jimmy is the leader of the pack.
He's curious about Jimmy's motives, as he's kind of a shadowy character, but it's not just his curiosity that makes him take the deal, it's the reward as well: six sardines for each item he steals. What more can a cat ask for? A home, of course. So he sets off to find a family to adopt. And soon enough he finds his targets; a couple of kids, a boy and a girl, walking with their nanny home.
What he doesn't know though is that they are the Cheddars, the kids of a police inspector. When he finds out though he's more than happy to remain exactly where he is, since he thinks: "...where better to hide from the law than right under its nose?"
Sooner rather than later he gets to work. And the first job is way too easy for someone as talented as him: "Humans would call it a piece of cake. He called it a piece of stake."
Well, Atticus feels happy at first in his new home, as well as with the working conditions. The kids and their mom love him, and so does the nanny; the inspector not so much but that's okay. And the sleepy little town is not that boring after all. The people are kind of strange, but so what? People are strange everywhere.
Soon enough though things will begin to change, as he'll start to have feelings for the kids, and he'll also meet a lovely lady that will bring his romantic self to life. And at the same time he'll start having trouble with his employers. They simply make him mad. And they're stupid. Well, most of them are, apart from Jimmy; he's not only clever but also dangerous; he can smell it.
But what is a cat to do? The truth is that he can, and he'll do a lot, and then some more; and he'll have the biggest adventure of his life, during which quite a few things will change in his psyche.
In this book we have all the ingredients of a great story: stupid cops and brilliant villains; feelings of pure love and deep hatred; many twists and turns and a grand finale that can take the cat's, (sorry, I mean the reader's), breath away.