Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Operation Red Jericho: The Guild of Specialists Book One

Operation Red Jericho: The Guild of Specialists Book One

Joshua Mowll
Illustrator:  Julek Heller , Niroot Puttapipat , Benjamin Mowll 
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Candlewick Press, 2005   ISBN: 978-0763626341

When Joshua Mowll inherits his aunt Rebecca’s estate after her death, he discovers that his aunt has been keeping an extraordinary secret. In the basement of her house he finds a library and a collection of papers and artefacts which his aunt collected during her remarkable life. It is only when Joshua reads some of the diaries and folders that he discovers how remarkable his singular aunt was.

Joshua is now going to share with the world an account of his aunt Rebecca’s first adventure, the adventure in which she first encountered the Guild of Specialists.

It all begins when Becca and her brother Doug leave the care of their long-suffering aunt Margaret to go and live with their hitherto unmet uncle Captain Fitzroy MacKenzie. Soon after arriving on Captain MacKenzie’s boat, the Expedient, the children start to get the definite impression that something decidedly odd is going on. Their uncle appears to be involved in some mystery which may or may not have something to do with the disappearance of Becca and Doug’s parents who went on an expedition in China many months ago and who have not been heard of or seen since.

It would appear that a much feared and highly dangerous Chinese gangster called Sheng-Fat has managed to get hold of a very dangerous weapon, which could potentially make him the most powerful criminal in the world. Captain MacKenzie, who is a member of a mysterious organization called The Guild of Specialists, is determined to get the weapon away from Sheng-Fat before it is too late. Becca and Doug find themselves getting caught up in this quest, which they keep hoping will lead them to some information about the whereabouts of their parents.

Full of exciting adventures involving evil criminals, mysterious organizations, kidnapping and so much more, this first book in what promises to be a gripping series is sure to delight adventurers of all ages. Presented in the form of a journal or diary, the book is full of illustrations, maps, diagrams, fold-out pages, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Readers will find themselves hard put to set this book aside once they have started reading it, and they will feel as if they too are in 1920’s Shanghai have the adventures of a lifetime.