- 12,99 €
It is 1892, and Jonathan Capewell, a farm boy who dreams of becoming a big-city detective, is sent from home to look after his mysterious grandfather. Grandpa is a traveling photographer, and his independent ways have never included family members -- certainly not his youngest grandchild.
After a grueling journey, Jonathan and Grandpa shoot an image of a puzzling struggle on a raging river in the Maine woods. At first they don't suspect it's anything more than a logging accident. But later the scene comes back to haunt them when a stranger shows an uncommon interest in the undeveloped negatives.
Who is this over-friendly stranger? Why does he seem so determined to have those pictures? The clues point to something that Jonathan has already begun to suspect: what happened on the rapids that day was no accident....
In this somewhat belabored whodunit set in the late 1800s, Levin (The Banished) introduces amateur sleuth Jonathan Capewell, who'd rather be on the "mean streets" of the city snagging "sly criminals" than do his chores on his family's remote farm in Maine. Jonathan's parents, however, have other plans for their son; they are anxious for him to spend time with his grandfather learning the photography trade. Trailing his grandfather on shooting sessions, then later working in Grandfather Capewell's studio in the nearby town of Masham, Jonathan learns to see with a photographer's eye. His heightened perception proves beneficial when he begins piecing together a puzzle involving a river accident he witnessed, the vandalism of his grandfather's cart and a mysterious stranger anxious to get his hands on some of Grandfather Capewell's pictures. Moving at a sluggish pace, the novel seems disjointed at the beginning and strained in the end as loose ends are forced together to form a neat resolution. The minor charactersDmost of whom play a vital role in the denouementDare sketchily drawn; Jonathan also lacks depth. Shutter-bugs may appreciate the book's details about 19th-century picture-taking, but readers craving action and suspense may do better elsewhere. Ages 10-up.