'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 20 October 2018

Review: The Turnkey

Flossie Birdwhistle is the Turnkey at Highgate Cemetery. Her job is to see that all her dead residents are at rest, for in the twilight world, things are different. The ghosts can see the living but not the other way around. In the land of the living, WW11 rages.

Flossie encounters the German officer Victor Brun, known as one of Hitler’s most trusted men. He carries with him a strange object that resembles a crystal ball. 

Something is brewing and it concerns two of the main cemeteries. Flossie must find out what, for not only are the resting places in danger, but so is the whole of England.

From Highgate in London to the Invalid Cemetery in Berlin, Flossie seeks to uncover the insidious plans that threaten to destroy her country. She is unprepared for what she finds. Her father’s past is somehow linked to Brun whose ghostly presence is like poison.

What part do the ancient artefacts of the Mayan civilization play in the schemes being plotted? What is the Ahnenerbe? With the help of Violet, a twilight spiritualist, Flossie discovers the horrors perpetrated in Germany and the additional horrors awaiting them in England should Brun’s plans succeed.

This is a highly imaginative, well-crafted ghostly crime story full of mystery, with many layers to it.  It is about two wars: one in the land of the living and the other in the place of the dead. Themes of love and sacrifice, unity and the warring of good and evil, fill the main story and extensive sub-stories. Its strong female characters, especially the protagonist Flossie, generate a powerful energy in the novel. The historical and supernatural plot is filled with surprises, breathtaking twists and turns, and sudden revelations that will keep the pages turning. Prepare to read this in one sitting!

The Turnkey won the Best Children’s Crime Novel at the Sisters in Crime18th Davitt Awards.

Title: The Turnkey
Author: Allison Rushby
Publisher: Walker Books, $18.99
Publication Date: March 2017
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925126921
For ages: 9+
Type: Mystery/Crime