Andy Mulligan was brought up in the south of London. He worked as a theatre director for ten years, before his travels in Asia prompted him to re-train as a teacher. Since then he has taught English and drama in India, Brazil, The Philippines and the UK. He now divides his time between London and Manila.
After reading Andy's debut book Ribblestrop, which ranked highly in my favourite books last year, I heard about the release of his new book. I was hoping for book two in this series, but finding out that this book was going to published by David Fickling and not Simon & Schuster, I knew this was not going to be the case. Disappointed I was, but also intrigued.
Raphael is a dumpsite boy. He spends his days wading through mountains of steaming trash, sifting it, sorting it, breathing it, sleeping next to it. Then one unlucky-lucky day, Raphael's world turns upside down. A small leather bag falls into his hands. It's a bag of clues. It's a bag of hope. It's a bag that will change everything. Soon Raphael and his friends Gardo and Rat are running for their lives. Wanted by the police, it takes all their quick-thinking, fast-talking to stay ahead. As the net tightens, they uncover a dead man's mission to put right a terrible wrong. It's three street-boys against the world...
The book starts with the two main characters of the book, Raphael and his best friend Gardo. Living in a slum, they work all hours sifting through rubbish - just to make a little money to get by. The fourteen year old boys have no hope for a better life, until one day they find a bag, which changes their lives forever. They embark on a heart-stopping adventure that leaves you clinging onto every word and action.
The book is told through the many encounters that the characters become wrapped up in within this mysterious adventure. The tension continuously builds, as the boys face more danger, and the ever pursuing police.
I really loved this book, as it had all the ingredients required to make a good read - a great original story fraught with danger and good central characters that you warm to, wanting to ensure the best for them through the story. The book also has a strong cultural element based upon the author's extensive travels - a hint of life in the Philippines that ensures its appeal and authenticity. This is a sure fire read and I certainly look forward to another book from Andy soon.
Thanks to Lauren for sending this book out to me for review - it's very much appreciated.
Book published by David Fickling Books September 2010
Other books readers might like are Steve Augarde - Xisle Book Review and Paolo Bacigalupi -