The word “bogle” comes from the early sixteenth century and is of Scottish origin meaning a ghost, phantom or goblin. In this story, a bogle is a monster that eats children. My interest was captured by the alluring setting of Victorian London and the fact that this book’s author was already a favourite of mine with the Pagan series.
The story goes that young “Birdie” is an eager apprentice to Alfred the Bogle-Catcher who makes his living from catching bogles that haunt people’s homes.
The young girl “Birdie” sings to entice the monstrosity out of its hiding place, upon which Alfred does away with the creature for good. The fact that the bogle can suddenly appear from nowhere and like a massive glutinous being dissolve people whole adds to the tension of the story. Birdie has to rely on Alfred to tell her exactly when to stop singing and exactly where the creature is going to appear from. One second too late and the creature will eat whoever is still there so Alfred must kill the bogle before it kills Birdie.
As a child I enjoyed hearing stories in which the main character had to take a risk of some sort but I grinned inwardly at knowing there was a master at work somewhere against the forces of evil, someone who always seemed to get it right in the end!
I found the story engrossing and various story scenes stayed in my imagination for some time afterwards. Jinks has crafted a highly believable story, one that moves along at a reasonable pace and is filled with the language of the time including lilting cockney-inspired songs that give the reader an impression of Birdie’s character and the setting. The authors natural gift for descriptive conversation aids in giving an overall impression and tension to the story. The details of the setting too have been extremely well researched.
If your child likes mysteries and ghost stories, and is mature enough to handle the numerous songs and true to Victorian era language, then this story may appeal. It is number one in a trilogy See the trailer at:.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7lMDqslWks
A former children’s librarian, Jane Fagan is now a full-time wife and mother of two.