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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Herve Jubert
Age Range: 14+
The Devil’s Tango sees the detective duo once again negotiate the dangers of another spate of terrible and violent crimes that are taking place in Basle. The city is also experiencing incessant rain and the water levels are slowly rising. Soon the dams will be breached and all of Basle will be underwater. Morgenstern and Martineau are on the trail of the mysterious Baron of the Mists who appears to
be leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. With the help of the Queen of the
Gypsies and the pirates of the lagoon they set out to stop the terrible calamity
that will befall Basle.
This book is imaginative, dark and complex with its mix of graphic novel, historical and detective fictional influences. Like the first book, Dance of the Assassins it is a compelling read with some ingenious plotting and plenty of twists that at times can be difficult to follow. The darkness is counteracted by humour and some endearing characters.
Hervé Jubert is a gifted and exciting writer full of inventiveness and both books are beautifully translated by Anthea Bell. Challenging novels, full of theatrical flourish, they will appeal to older readers, especially boys.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)