Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Death Collector

The Death Collector

Justin Richards
For ages 12 and up
Bloomsbury, 2007   ISBN: 978-1582347219

As the infamous pea-souper fogs swirl around the streets of London, two young people and a boy find themselves caught up in a terrible adventure. George Archer works in the British museum restoring clocks and living a quiet and happy life. Elizabeth Oldfield, the daughter of a retired clergyman, catches a young pickpocket called Eddie practicing his trade. In addition to her father's wallet, Eddie has George's wallet as well. It is these two thefts which brings George, Elizabeth, and Eddie together. In the big scheme of things, the thefts are quite minor. However, there is a scrap of paper in George's wallet, and it is this scrap of paper that makes all the difference, for there is someone in London who wants the paper very much. Indeed, it soon becomes clear that this person, whoever he is, has already killed one person in an attempt to get the paper. What George, Elizabeth and Eddie cannot understand is why this piece of paper is so important.

Luckily they are soon joined by Sir William Protheroe. With his help and his knowledge of science, they begin to understand that they are facing a truly evil adversary, a man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, and what he wants is to reanimate the dead, to create life where there is none. Using the bodies of the dead and the fossilized bones of dinosaurs, Augustus Lorimore, a wealthy industrialist, is seeking nothing less than world domination.

Pursued by monsters and the walking dead, the three young people and Sir William desperately try to foil Lorimore's plans before they are killed by the terrifying creatures he has built.

This highly engrossing story will transport readers back in time to Victorian London during the industrial revolution. At that time, new scientific discoveries were changing the ways in which scientists thought about the history of life on earth, though none were quite as audacious as Lorimore. Vivid characters, terrifying monsters, evil masterminds, the walking dead, and much more can be found on the pages of this fascinating and highly entertaining tale.