Lin is dragged from England to backwater Germany by her father, Dr Oliver Fox, obsessed with the discovery of the famed Allerheiligen glass, a set of stained glass windows missing for hundreds of years, perhaps no longer even in existence.
Lin thinks her biggest problems are completing her final exams in a foreign country and serving as interpreter for her father as he chases the fabulous glass, but these are the least of her worries. For the glass is rumoured to be haunted by the demon Bonschariant, and murder and woe have followed in its wake ever since its creation. No sooner has the family – Lin, her elder sister Polly, younger brother Ru, and her parents – arrived in Germany than Lin has stumbled over a corpse.
The story is told from Lin’s point of view, and the author does an excellent job of capturing the essence of a wilful teenager. That said, that very fact drove me nuts sometimes, as the childish foolishness and wilful blindness of said teenager left me furious and wanting to smack her across the head. Teenagers may more readily relate to Lin than older adults, but the simple fact I found Lin so annoying speaks to the author’s skill when it comes to characterisation.
The story is solid, with her enough mystery, conflict and intrigue to draw the reader onwards. While I wouldn’t say I was desperate to finish the story, I certainly felt compelled to read on. The opening was a little slow, and I was perhaps a quarter of the way through before I felt the story had really captured me, although that may have been because I had the wrong expectation of the book.
The author has a particularly deft hand when it comes to leading the unwary reader down the garden path, and then springing a surprise twist.
I expected it to be speculative fiction, but I’d classify it as more crime/thriller/suspense in the vein of The Da Vinci Code. That said, if you like that genre, The Glass Demon is well worth the read.