Warning: Contains Spoilers!
Their grotesque faces were blank masks of death, and they stole toward the unsuspecting werling with open jaws and outstretched arms.
Aufwader’s Thoughts: The illustration for this chapter is, I think, one of the scariest Robin has ever drawn. The only other header I can think of that gave me such a fright is the grinning skull of Galatea from The Fatal Strand, and that seems positively tame in comparison to the emaciated, leering monstrosity featured here. No wonder Grimditch tells Gamaliel to use his eyes only to find the next foothold away from that thing!
Speaking of, it’s rather touching the way Gamaliel seems to be bonding with the bogle. Too often, heroes make life difficult for themselves by shunning all help and companionship even when it’s repeatedly offered. It looks as if Gamaliel has a bit more sense, however, realising that though this may be his quest, he can’t go it alone. I just hope Grimditch is what he seems. After nearly two years of Robin Jarvis canon, I’m inclined to see spies everywhere…
Matt’s Thoughts: There’s something of the joy of the original Deptford series in this book – joy, I’m aware, being a relative word. But between creepy undead characters, a tragic death and the rising heroism of Grimditch, all the elements are there.
Even Captain Grittle and his men, with their incompetent way of confounding their mistresses’ plans, are somewhat endearing. If only because we suspect they’re going to cop it from Rhiannon eventually.