Publisher: Walker Books
Wild Boy leads a miserable life as a spectacle in a travelling freak show. Covered in hair since birth, he's used to being treated as a monster or a savage, excluded from society and abused by his cruel master. Taking refuge in watching the world around him and all the comings and goings of the fair, he develops a Sherlock Holmes-style talent for observation. But when he witnesses the murder of Professor Wollestonecraft, even his detective skills can't help him when the folk of the fair decide that he must be the guilty party. Soon, Wild Boy is on the run, along with young circus acrobat Clarissa. Together, the pair must use all of their unusual talents to avoid the police, solve the clues and discover the identity of the real killer - the sinister hooded man.
Set in 1840s London, this is a pleasingly pacy and atmospheric historical romp. Rob Lloyd Jones does an impressive job of evoking a dark, sinister and seamy Victorian underworld, drawing on the tradition of Sherlock Holmes stories and adding plenty of gothic touches. An exciting tale of murder and mystery, with an engaging pair of lead characters, Wild Boy is also a powerful story about the value of friendship, dealing with difference, and accepting who you are.