June 7, 2012
A mystery with a difference
From Charlie's Point of View
by Richard Scrimger
The police think Charlie Fairmile's dad is the Stocking Bandit, who's been attacking bank machines with an ax. Even though the evidence is purely circumstantial, things are looking pretty bleak. So Charlie decides to find the real criminal. His task is made more difficult because Charlie has been blind since birth. Helped by neighbor and friend, Bernadette, who acts as his guide, and non-stop nervous talker Lewis, Charlie gradually puts the clues together.
The plot veers toward the ludicrous at times, but is saved by funny dialogue and a relatively fast-moving plot. Scrimger also includes an interesting character named Gideon, a guardian angel who shows up at key moments for last-minute rescues. But it's Charlie who holds our interest. Despite his lack of sight, he is never totally helpless, and is even braver than most people, as witnessed in the final, exciting crypt-crawling climax.
A surprising, laugh-out-loud mystery.