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Offered the job of repairing the weathercock on one of Muncaster Cathedral's spires, Steeplejack Joe Clarke soon realizes that the cathedral is in the grip of an evil power
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Chilly, concise and utterly spooky, this novel is among the late British author's best works. A first-person narrative--liberally larded with bits of Northern English slang--propels the story at a headlong pace, at the same time incorporating intriguing hints of musty medieval history. Not long after he takes on the job of restoring the southwest tower of Muncaster Cathedral, steeplejack Joe Clarke senses--in the very stonework itself--a sinister force that seems to emanate from one particularly foul-looking gargoyle. Joe's suspicions are confirmed when his young son, Kevin, sleepwalks to the tower, spouts archaic Latin and, with much tooth-baring, fights all efforts to remove him. Though Joe eventually succeeds in rescuing his "lad," the entity in the tower finds easier prey in another little boy, discovered dead, having either fallen or jumped from the spire. With the help of a curmudgeonly detective-sergeant and the trendy but essentially good Reverend Morris, Joe searches through the cathedral's history for the knowledge that will enable him to destroy the bloodthirsty gargoyle's power. The tower's secret is indeed a whopper, fittingly capping the unrelenting suspense that precedes its revelation. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A Cheshire steeplejack has a harrowing confrontation with diabolic forces entrenched in a tower. Joe Clarke's pride in being chosen for routine cathedral repairs turns to dismay as the evil he senses emanating from a gargoyle when he first mounts the tower escalates to real harm. His young son, lured toward the cathedral in a midnight trance, is interrupted in his journey and ends up in hospital; another child is not so lucky--and finding his body high on the roof so startles Joe's partner that both nearly plunge to their deaths. Joe, whose trade is a family tradition dating back generations, is an expertly realized character--steady, opinionated, with an authoritative knowledge of his craft and its history; a family man with an unreconstructed view of women, plus some sturdy prejudices toward the clergy that he reassesses after the Reverend Morris (a rather obnoxious ``Christian'' proselytizer) proves unexpectedly helpful in confronting the wicked power. A taut thriller, with a horrifically dramatic denouement as the ancient evil is explained and undone. (Fiction. 11+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Sunburst. Condition: new. Seller Inventory # think0374471193
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # E-0374471193