The Demon Undertaker
London, 1749: dirty, rat-infested and dangerous. Everyone is terrified of the Demon Undertaker, a fiend with red eyes wearing a skull mask who supplies bodies for dissection. His latest victim is Lady Grace Davenport.
Young Tom Fielding, newly arrived from America to stay with his unknown uncle Henry Fielding, the Chief Magistrate, has barely stepped off the stagecoach when he’s nearly run down by a hearse driven at high speed by a masked man. He immediately gives chase. But things go disastrously wrong and he’s arrested and thrown into prison. By the time he meets his uncle, he’s bruised, in shackles, hungry and filthy. Will Mr Fielding believe who he is?
I really enjoyed this book. The author knows exactly how to grab the reader from page one and yank them into the story. I particularly liked the gruesome (and authentic) historical detail. Having Tom clueless about 18th-century London means that we, too, can learn with him about the criminal underworld and its scams and gangs. There is also a useful Glossary.
The Demon Undertaker is obviously the start of a series and it’s going to be terrific. I can’t wait to read the next book. For ten plus.
The Demon Undertaker has a clever plot and an original storyline, however at times I felt that there were too many coincidences, and the reader starts to question the sequence of events. I did like the idea of the ‘undertaker’ being a kidnapper, or worse, and the author evokes a real sense of menace. Yet I found that the writing could be predictable, for example, the main characters are always saved from death just in the nick of time. Overall, I would recommend this book for eleven plus.
Freya Sutcliffe, age 14