Monday, 23 December 2013

The Feathered Man - Jeremy de Quidt


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 I thought that this book was translated from possibly German, but I now find that in fact the author is from the UK.  He has a nice scarey turn of phrase, though! 
Set a couple of centuries ago, in a small middle European town, the toothpuller steals a diamond from the mouth of a dead man.  His little runner, Klaus sees this, and this starts a dreadful tale of dead bodies, ghosts from the past, bad people, good people turned bad, a manevolent tale indeed!

Klaus is a small boy, but not young enough not too realise the worth of the diamond, but of course others know the worth of it too, and several deaths occur before that diamond reaches its final resting place.  Priests are not what they seem, dead men come alive, tattoos on bodies move, and throughout all of this, Klaus attempts to keep his mouth shut about what he knows; and Liesel, a kind girl, treated badly by her mistress, wants him to give up on the diamond, and to get out of trouble.  She could not save her own brother, but she wants desperately to save this little boy.

At first, this dark tale brought to mind Grimms' Fairy Tales, but as I read on, I got to thinking about old fashioned real adventure stories like Treasure Island.  No holds barred in the Urrgh! stakes with some awfully gruesome descriptions, so I imagine that this is a good one for older children or young adults to enjoy. But please don't let me put adults off.... Horrible and exciting!