Book Review: Monkey Arkwright (Wardens of the Black Heart 1) by Rob Campbell

Book Description:
Budding writer Lorna Bryson is struggling to come to terms with the recent death of her father when she meets Monkey Arkwright, the boy who loves to climb. The two strike up an immediate rapport, and Monkey challenges her to write about him, claiming that he can show her things that are worth writing about.

True to his word, Lorna is catapulted into Monkey’s world of climbing and other adventures in the churches, woodlands and abandoned places in and around their home town of Culverton Beck. When the two teenagers find an ancient coin in the woods, claims from potential owners soon flood in, including the mysterious Charles Gooch, who is adamant that the coin is his. But this is only the opening act in a much larger mystery that has its roots in some dark deeds that took place more than a century earlier.

Combining their talents, Lorna and Monkey set about fitting the pieces together in a tale of budding friendship, train-obsessed simpletons, the shadow of Napoleon and falling pianos.

 

My Review:
This is a tale of mystery and suspense. One where you have to find clues alongside the characters. There were times when I wondered where the story was going, and what some character’s motivations were, but all questions were answered.

I enjoyed the supernatural elements to the story. There are no ghosts, vampires etc, but the story does make you question your opinions on luck, faith and why things happen the way they do. One character, Charles Gooch, makes you feel uneasy and wary of his intentions, with his ability to be in the right place at the right time. And what is the darkness in his briefcase?

Some of the description used I really liked. For example, ‘But autumn’s grasp had shaken the trees bare, and winter’s broom had swept away the last few leaves. It seemed that the seasons changed everything except for the graves and their permanent residents.’

Although described as a YA read on Amazon, this book has a wider appeal and would be enjoyed by anyone who likes a well told mystery with a supernatural twist. A great first part to a trilogy.

 

About the author:
Rob Campbell was born in the blue half of Manchester.

He studied Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Manchester Polytechnic, gaining an honours degree, but the fact that he got a U in his Chemistry O-Level helps to keep him grounded.
Having had a belly full of capacitors and banana plugs, on graduation he transferred his skills to software engineering. He still writes code by day, but now he writes novels by night.

Listing his pastimes in no particular order, he loves music, reading and holidays, but he is partial to the words and music of Bruce Springsteen.

His favourite authors are David Morrell, Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch & Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

He lives in Manchester with his wife and two daughters.

Rob’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rob-Campbell/e/B07K5JM84G/.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,

Mark.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Monkey Arkwright (Wardens of the Black Heart 1) by Rob Campbell

  1. Pingback: Monkey Arkwright Reviewed – Monkey Arkwright

  2. Thanks for the review, Mark. Glad you enjoyed it.
    I also like your comment on the wider appeal – although I pitch it as YA, I make no secret of the fact that I was aiming for a tone somewhere between “Stand By Me” and “The Goonies” – which should resonate with those who grew up with 1980s adventures.

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