Craig McGowan has little to believe in as a street urchin in 1930s Edinburgh, but just when he’s ready to give up and throw himself from the top of a church, he meets Silex, a demon trapped in a gargoyle statue who runs a crime-solving operation, since perching on a church for centuries is a bit boring. Craig becomes his investigator and confidante as they try to solve a string of murders plaguing the city. This first volume in Yolen and Stemple’s Stone Man Mysteries series sets up some enticing plot dynamics, including Silex’s true nature and plan, Craig’s intention in working for the demon detective, and what kinds of people they will encounter in the darker parts of Edinburgh. Zangara’s black and white drawings fit the brooding and menacing mood of this story, and the detail and nuance within his artwork encourage multiple readings to notice its subtleties. At a quick glance, his drawings may seem like unpolished sketches, but this approach enhances the story, matching the bleakness and supernatural strangeness of Craig’s world. Ages 12–up. Authors’ agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/15/2016 Release date: 08/01/2016 Genre: Children's
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