JACKABY by William Ritter
Abagail Rook, a curious girl, is in need of a job. When she arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, one of her first interactions was with R. F. Jackaby. A detective who specializes in the supernatural. Whatever that means. Abagail’s need for work and shelter come at the time when Jackaby is in need of an assistant because a murder has just occurred. The police are convinced it is an ordinary killer and Jackaby, well… let’s just say he’s not so convinced that the killer is even human.
It was late January, and New England wore a fresh coat of snow as I stepped along the gangplank to the shore.
“What’s that you’re drawing?” I asked.
Jackaby scowled. “Recording the dates. Keep going.”
“Is that an elven language or something?
He stood back from the chalkboard and stared at it blankly. “No.”
“Are those pictograms? What is that bit you just finished? The one that looks like a goose tugging at a bit of string?”
“That’s a seven.” – page 88
“That the battles are usually in her head does not lessen the bravery of it. The hardest battles always are.” – page 104
“Does this smell like paprika or gunpowder to you?” – page 149
“She had the dull expression of one who has been scooped out entirely, and does not know what to do with the emptiness.” – page 213
Review (My thoughts):
What can I really say? When I ended Jackaby I was sad. I was sad it was over. Jackaby is one of those characters that get under your skin. He crawls inside your head and stays there. And you’ll welcome the company because as crazy as Jackaby is, he is also brilliant and wildly entertaining. He is logical to a fault, witty and sometimes lacks finesse. At the same time, he is giving and kind-hearted. I did care about Abagail, but I was much more interested in Jackaby. (I mean, the book is named after him after all).
Jackaby is sort of like the Sherlock Holmes for the supernatural world. He sees things we can’t in crime scenes. For example, a man was murdered in an apartment building. His chest was tore open with bite marks. Most people think, “this person is sick.” Not Jackaby. The most logical explanation we could come up with would be the most illogical explanation for Jackaby.
I won’t give much away in this review because I really, really want you to get to know him for yourself. If you haven’t read Jackaby you’re doing yourself a disservice because this guy is awesome. He’s Sherlock Holmes’ teenage son.
Jackaby is a ride! Full of adventure and laughs! It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. If you love a good whodunnit, read Jackaby. You’ll never be able to guess! (Well, kinda. The suspect was kind of easy to spot. But, Jackaby was so entertaining, I didn’t even care that I’d figured mid-way through).