As October is now upon us, it’s the perfect time to start indulging in the dark and wicked, so I present to you: On Track For Murder. Okay, so there’s no ghosts or ghouls, but as a nineteenth century murder mystery tale it’s still a great book for getting into the spirit of things.
On Track For Murder follows Abigail Sergeant as she leaves London with her brother to travel to Australia, where Abigail dreams of living a peaceful life with her father. Unfortunately, not all goes to plan when her father is found murdered within the family home, and her vulnerable brother is taken as the main suspect. Desperate to clear her brother’s name, Abigail (with the help of her police officer friend) embarks on a mission that takes her on a convoluted trail of betrayal and danger.
As much as a cliché as this may be, once you start reading this novel you can’t put it down. The complexity of the case renders readers helpless as, much like myself, they will find themselves denying sleep in order to get to the bottom of this ‘whodunit’ novel. The real-time action aids in making this novel fast paced and engaging, though there are a few pauses to the action so that readers can get more of an insight into the characters’ personalities.
The book isn’t just about the mystery either, so for readers who like a bit of romance and a happy ending, this caters to you too.
Aside from the plot itself, the writing style is articulate but easy going, making this novel suitable for younger readers as well as older ones.
For a debut novel, this book shows that there’s a definite possibility Stephen Childs could become much more well known author in upcoming years. However, there is still work to be done if Childs wants to appeal to a more mature audience, as another forward-thinking feminist protagonist who has the one weakness of being obsessed with cute boys would be hard to swallow.
Overall, if you like murder mysteries, the Victorian era, drama, and young love, this is the novel for you.
Words by Charlie Ginger Jones