Saturday, February 27, 2010

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

Here is the blurb:

When Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye, he turned and waved before getting on. But after half an hour it landed and everyone trooped off - and no Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air? So Ted and his older sister, Kat, become sleuthing partners, since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain works in its own very unique way, to find the key to the mystery. This is an unputdownable spine-tingling thriller - a race against time.

I had to read this book for a book club and, admittedly, wasn't too keen on reading it. Well, that all changed after the first chapter.

Ted, the narrator of the story, has Asperger Syndrome and sees the world around him very differently. When he meets his cousin for the first time, he is a little apprehensive but Salim puts him at ease from the start and they become comfortable with each other very quickly.

Then the unthinkable happens and Salim disappears from the London Eye. Ted tries to explain his theories and observations to his parents and the police, but nobody listens to him. Except for his sister. Together they try to figure out what happened and how Salim could have disapeared from a sealed pod they never took their eyes off.

Ted's voice is fabulous. You see the world around through his eyes. He wants to be a meterologist when he grows up and throughout the story he compares his observations to different weather phenomena. I absloutely loved the clarity and logic he used to follow the clues. Ted explains everything in a manner that makes you, the reader, see the world with different eyes.

The chapters are short and move the story along very quickly. The way Siobhan Dowd trickles in the clues is fantastic and the ending was completely unexpected, with a sudden race against time to save the missing boy I had not anticipated at all.

I started to read 'The London Eye Mystery' because I had to, but I finished it because the story pulled me in and didn't let go. I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys reading a story with a very special voice, a voice that makes you look at the world in a new way.

Siobahn Dowd tragically passed away in 2007. All her royalties from her books go to a trust created just before her death, the Siobhan Dowd Trust, a charity set up to support the joy of reading for young people in areas of social deprivation. For more information go to


Lauren said...

This sounds really fascinating. I think I've previously been put off by the cover (different to this one) but I think this one might be up my street. Thanks for the review.

Neil Ford said...

Ooh, this sounds like a great little book. One to read and the release as a bookcrossing book.

Thanks for the informative review.

- Neil.

Tina said...

Hi Lauren,

yes the cover is not the best, but if you can look past it, the book is great. I found it really fascinating how Ted analysed a lot of the things we take totally for granted. I hope you enjoy it.


Tina said...

Hi Neil,

it's definitely a great little book with a difference. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.


Neil Ford said...


Finally read this book this week and I have to say you were spot on, an absolutely awesome story!

I am now passing it on to my sister as my nephew's brain runs on a different operating system and hopefully he'll get a kick out of reading it.

Thanks to you and Liz for bringing this book to my attention. Keep up the great work.

- Neil. xx