Review Blog

Sep 06 2011

Crypt: The Gallows Curse by Andrew Hammond

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Headline, 2011. ISBN 9780755378210.
(Age: 12+) In 2007, thirteen year old Jamie, the son of Jason Goode, a billionaire and IT guru, was convicted of murdering his mother by throwing her off the battlements of their English castle. However Jamie kept claiming 'the ghosts did it.' His father had no choice but to believe him. Supported by his eminent scientist friend, Professor Giles Bonati, Jamie learns that teenagers have high extrasensory perception and can see ghosts where adults fail. They set up a paranormal Investigation team (PIT) to examine hauntings but their success has unexpected repercussions. The media coverage scares the general public and the government closes them down. However the British secret services negotiate with Jason Goode to establish a covert operation, 'Crypt', the covert response youth paranormal team. Part of the deal is that his son Jamie is released to be an investigator, re-named Jud Lester.
People start disappearing or being viciously attacked in increasing frequency in London and the only connection is that survivors claim that the culprits were 17th century highwaymen. The 'Crypt' team must work out why the spirits are angry if they are to have a chance of stopping them. Jud and his partner Bex, despite using retina recognition scans and neutralisers, are in mortal danger when they encounter the ghosts.
Crypt is fast paced and at times a bit gruesome. Its mix of ghost busting, adventure and horror, together with the teenage stars means that it will appeal to many young adult readers. Recommended for 12 years plus.
Kay Haarsma

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