Creature of the Night
by Thompson, Kate

Because of the reckless life he leads in Dublin, Bobby's mother moves the family to the country, but Bobby suspects their cottage might not be as quaint as it seems. By the author of The Last of the High Kings.

Acclaimed author KATE THOMPSON is known for the Switchers Trilogy, the Missing Link Trilogy, and, most recently, The Last of the High Kings. She lives on the west coast of Ireland.

"*Starred Review* Though not as overtly as she did in The New Policeman (2007) and its sequel, The Last of the High Kings (2008), Thompson again pits contemporary Irish rural life against an undercurrent of faerie mystery. Hoping to pry 14-year-old Bobby away from his Dublin life of reckless violence, drug abuse, and grand theft, Bobby s welfare-dependent mother transplants the family to a creaky old house in the countryside. Balancing the grittiness of Bobby s angst and relentless fights with his mother are the whispered stories of the house s previous occupants, a couple who murdered their child, believing her to be a faerie changeling. Thompson weaves this lightly into the plot, and it s easy to get so caught up in the reckless joyride of Bobby s juvenile delinquency and subsequent rural makeover (a believable process of baby steps and serious lapses) that the creepy undercurrent fades away. But never entirely, as an unseen visitor who comes in the middle of the night continues to worry at the edges of Bobby s consciousness. The story ends on a somewhat abrupt note that might disappoint some, but for thoughtful readers it will rearrange what the entire story s proceedings have really been about. A unique blend of subtlety and brashness, this is an honest coming-of-age novel in the guise of a gripping YA thriller."

A thief and a liar at 14, Bobby is furious with his mother for moving the family to the sticks to get him away from the trouble he's been up to in Dublin. Taken on by an older gang for his youth and speed, Bobby wants the excitement of drugs, booze and the burning of stolen cars that gave his life thrills. The country is boring. He is initially skeptical of his younger brother's accounts of the "little woman" who drinks the milk in the nighttime, but spooky details of the history of their little cottage gradually turn Bobby into a detective of night creatures real and imagined. The ancient ring forts, neighbors' tales of murder and the way rural communities don't let you escape consequences slowly swirl into an intricate narrative pattern. Bobby's first-person narration never shortchanges his wrongdoing or the family pattern of irresponsibility. In the work required by the landlord after he wrecks a stolen car, Bobby slowly begins to find his salvation. True to an astonishingly amoral worldview while equally revealing of Bobby's compassion, this novel scintillates. (Fiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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