Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Jasper Fforde – The Fourth Bear

Title: The Fourth Bear
Author: Jasper Fforde

ISBN # 0340835729

Publisher: Hodder and
First Published: 2006

416 pages

Format: Paperback

Rating: 8/10

The Gingerbreadman - psychopath, sadist, convicted murderer and cake/biscuit - is loose on the streets of
Reading. It isn't Jack Spratt's case. Despite the success of the Humpty Dumpty investigation, the well publicised failure to prevent Red Riding-Hood and her Gran being eaten once again plunges the Nursery Crime Division into controversy. Enforced non-involvement with the Gingerbreadman hunt looks to be frustrating until a chance encounter at the oddly familiar Deja-Vu Club leads them onto the hunt for missing journalist Henrietta 'Goldy' Hatchett, star reporter for The Daily Toad . The last witnesses to see her alive were The Three Bears, comfortably living out a life of rural solitude in Andersen's wood. But all is not what it seems. Are the unexplained explosions around the globe somehow related to missing nuclear scientist Angus McGuffin? Is cucumber-growing really that dangerous? Why are National Security involved? But most important of all: How could the bears' porridge be at such disparate temperatures when they were poured at the same time?

This sequel is proved every bit as funny as The Big Over Easy - I loved all the references to fairy-tales and nursery rhymes (it takes me right back) and the subversion of the characters (which really just returns them to their original dark state, as many of those old folk and fairy tales are pretty gruesome when you strip away the candy they were coated with to feed to the kiddies!). It's also got plenty of intrigue which kept me guessing... It’s so surprising to find that something based on a fairytale can really work as a Whodunit!

I loved this one - I'm definitely going to read more Jasper Fforde as I've now read two of his books and not been disappointed. The Tuesday Next series is now just waiting for me, but I shall have to get in some other reading before I start, so that I get the full impact of the literary references!


Blogger Marg said...

I love any Jasper Fforde books! I did enjoy this one more than The Big Over Easy though.

10:32 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home