Sunday, July 6, 2014

Wild Boy

by Rob Lloyd Jones
July 6, 2014

Wild boy was born with hair covering his entire body. Today we know this rare condition as Hypertrichosis or Ambras Syndrome.  Back in Victorian times it was unthinkable.  Anyone that looks like a beast must be a beast and a freak.

So from the time he was a baby Wild Boy lived at a workhouse. He taunted and beaten by the other boys as well as the head of the workhouse.  When Augustus Finch comes to buy him for part of his circus show Wild Boy thinks that his life might change for the better. However the taunts from spectators and the beatings from Finch are almost worse.

The one comfort he has is his friendship with Sir Oswald, another "freak" in the show. Oswald lost his legs in a war and now walks about on his hands.  He looks after Wild Boy, mentoring him and protecting him.

One day Wild Boy and an acrobat named Clarissa Everett happen to entangle themselves in a murder mystery.  Being in the wrong place at the wrong time makes them the prime suspects and no matter what they say to prove their innocence, they become wanted for murder.

Wild Boy has spent his whole life observing people. His powers of observation and detection are incredible.   He and the athletic Clarissa use their skills to hunt for the killer all the wild keeping away from the police and people eager to collect reward money for capturing "The Wild Boy of London" and "The Fiend Clarissa Everett."

This Victorian mystery with a twist was fun, interesting and engaging. It stumbled, however, at the end with a clumsy revealing of the killer. I had figured it out, but the reveal was handled so awkwardly that I had to keep flipping back and forth to make sure I had read things correctly.

That was disappointing, but did not ruin the reading experience. I look forward to future adventures of Wild Boy.

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