Mind the Gap
Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon
Bantam, Jun 2008, $12.00
Coming home Jazz felt something was wrong in the house where she lived with her mother. Her parent taught her to be alert and always look over her shoulder to see if anyone was coming after her. Heeding her niggling feelings, she sneaks into her home and sees the Uncles there looking like they were waiting for her to arrive. She enters her mom’s room finding her dead with her neck slashed; her mom’s final words to her written in her blood: Jazz hide forever”.
Fleeing her Uncles, Jazz enters an Underground tunnel beneath London where the homeless, the disenfranchised, and the mentally ill reside. She joins forces with the United Kingdom; consisting of young people led by Harold “Harry” Pilkington Fowler. They take her into their home and she becomes a thief in the world above. The Uncles’ have thugs searching for her and he finds her. He kills one of her new friends and injures Harry. The United Kingdom kills one of them because these amoral hooligans do not care one iota about collateral damage in their quest to capture Jazz. Above ground she meets burglar Terrance, who is similar to Harry. Vowing revenge for her mom and the dead boy, Jazz plans to take the battle to the Uncles.
The London Underground is a city underneath the metropolis that topsiders are unaware exists; it has its rules, cultures and beliefs like any society have. It is also a place where Jazz sees scenes of magic of London in bygone eras. Jazz is the glue that holds the story line together; she is strong and obstinate as she refuses to cower any longer determined to take the fight to her enemy. Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon provide an engaging fast-paced yet eerie teen thriller as the revelations keep on coming but the action never decelerates.