Review Blog

Jun 20 2012

The invisible assassin : the Malichea quest by Jim Eldridge

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Bloomsbury, 2012. ISBN 9781408817193.
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Young teenagers will love the fast paced action and intrigue depicted in this breathtaking thriller which opens with the accidental discovery of a buried book. It is revealed that English monks of the Medieval Order of Malychea  dedicated themselves to the preservation of ancient scientific texts, originally to prevent Viking invaders from stealing them . Later, the same Order strove to ensure the survival of these writings in a world of evolving religious conflict which would have seen them destroyed as heretical threats to the Church. Interesting historical facts such as the Inquisition and The Plague are interwoven with dramatic fiction to create a tantalising suggestion that these books could have remained hidden throughout many centuries.
Jake Wells is a young publicist for a British government scientific department and by chance witnesses the horrific consequences of the unearthing of one of the ancient texts. A complex web of distrustful relationships and questionable incidents develops as Jake stumbles over clues and meets a variety of individuals who become involved and surreptitiously reveal knowledge and information. The question, as ever, is 'Who can he trust?'
The term 'Rollercoaster adventure' is cliched and worn. It does however perfectly describe this novel which sees Jake breaking into a secure scientific facility, escaping from murderous thugs, avoiding police arrest for crimes committed by others and trying to evade powerful individuals who work for shadowy organisations which seem to hold all the cards.
The plot relies on strong female characters who bring the brains, courage, fast motorbikes and technical skill to support Jake in a situation which would otherwise overwhelm him. Greedy and powerful men pose threats at every turn and the exciting adventures which take place will please and entertain adolescents who enjoy both mystery and action novels.
Rob Welsh

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