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International Writers Magazine:
Grandma Swivelhead, fortune tellers, bodies in the Thames, a story of
a young boy's induction to London's ghostworld
by the author of 'Curse of the Nibelung' and 'Another Place to
from Mean Tide:
began to shake. Grandma was possessed. Any moment now something utterly
gross was going to crawl out of his Grandma's head and try to attack him.
Or worse, her head was going to spin all the way around! She was Grandma
Swivelhead. Run, he told his legs, run... but nothing happened.'
Tide by Sam North
Lulu Press Pub June 2008
year old Oliver has survived cancer and chemotherapy. His mother
is in a clinic and his father is missing in Africa. His only family,
beside his pet cat, Flop, is his grandmother. He is sent, carrying
Flop in a basket, to live with her in Greenwich and he dreads
what might happen to him as he arrives at this scary old Greenwich riverside
house besides a looming power station.
Grandma Otis is
a talented medium and Oliver soon discovers he too has inherited the
gift. He sets off to discover his new home and quickly makes friends,
but when he and the young lodger, Justine stumble across a beautiful
dog with it's throat cut in the river, and then a day later find a murdered
man chained to an upturned boat Oliver is curiously affected. His Grandma
is deeply concerned as Oliver begins to show a keen interest in his
own psychic skills and wants to find out more about the dead man.
His adventure includes a cast of unusual and colourfully drawn characters,
including a homeless, streetwise and dangerous runaway teenager who
he mistakes for a friend; an aspiring and beautiful actress, Aura, with
whom he shares a secret; a Chinese neighbour with a garage full of owls,
Harriet who has seen every fortune teller in London and then theres
Flop, the cat with a personality of his own. Not forgetting silent Justine,
whose mother is in prison.
Every character in the book is unique, eccentric, vulnerable, and real.
Olivers bravery and naivety lead him into danger, and there were
many times when I opened my mouth to warn him then realised I was talking
to a book. He made me laugh and cry and care.
This book reminded me of one of those nests of Balkan dolls, the more
the story unfolded, the more layers I found to enjoy: a crime, a touch
of romance, humour and pathos. It is a book for everyone, no matter
what age. It is a beautifully written, unusual and a good story, one
I was sad to finish.
© Linda Regan
of Behind You www.lindareganonline.co.uk
See also Diamonds - The Rush of '72 by Sam North
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