My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’s books like ‘The London Eye Mystery’ that make me consider how we use the word ‘good’. Good. It’s such a space of a word. It’s sort of phatic at points; things are good, we are good, everything is good, let’s move this conversation on and talk about other things. Good. This book was good, this film is good, but when we say things are good, we tend to move on. Good is an opener to a conversation. Good begins thoughts and arguments and declarations of love. Good, conversely, is rarely good enough.
So I think that this review and this book is the space where we begin to reclaim the word good. ‘The London Eye Mystery’ by Siobhan Dowd is a book that is so very much on point that it is the sort of book that reclaims space and redefines worlds. It is a mystery set, quite uniquely, in and around the London Eye. Ted and his sister, Kat, take their cousin Salim onto the Eye. For reasons, Salim ends up boarding the Eye by himself. And he does not come down. It’s up to Ted with the help of Kat to find out what’s happened whilst all around them, their family crumbles with the impact of Salim’s disappearance.
This book is so present. It’s hard to define really because all I want to say is that it’s good. I’m rephrasing myself here in so many different ways and realising that they all end up in the same place – it’s a good book. It’s a very good book. It’s a heartfelt, warm-hearted text and one which, do note, has some suddenly intense and poignant moments that are so precisely judged that they sing in a book full of high notes. Revisiting it for my PhD was nothing short of a joy.
And do you want to know why?
Because it was good. The London Eye Mystery is a very good book and reading (and rereading) very good books will never, ever be a chore.