The Death Collector

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Overview

What starts as an ordinary picket-pocketing incident in Victorian London unites three teens against a madman. Eddie is the pickpocket; George is an assistant at the British Museum; Elizabeth has a nose for trouble—and all of them are being hunted by Augustus Lorimore. Lorimore is a sinister factory owner, a villain bent on reanimating the dead, both humans and dinosaurs—and one of each is already terrorizing the streets of London. It's up to Eddie, George, and Elizabeth to stop Lorimore's monsters . . . or die ...

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The Death Collector

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Overview

What starts as an ordinary picket-pocketing incident in Victorian London unites three teens against a madman. Eddie is the pickpocket; George is an assistant at the British Museum; Elizabeth has a nose for trouble—and all of them are being hunted by Augustus Lorimore. Lorimore is a sinister factory owner, a villain bent on reanimating the dead, both humans and dinosaurs—and one of each is already terrorizing the streets of London. It's up to Eddie, George, and Elizabeth to stop Lorimore's monsters . . . or die trying.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Richards (the Invisible Detective series) makes a strong showing in this haunting story set in Victorian London, where a 14-year-old pickpocket, a young horologist at the British Museum, and a clergyman's daughter with a taste for theatrics join forces to thwart a mad industrialist's attempts to reanimate the dead. Right from the opening sentence, "Four days after his own funeral, Albert Wilkes came home for tea," the pace never falters. Eddie, George and Liz meet through a plausible course of events, and become involved with the maniacal Mr. Lorimore when a museum clerk is killed, and George takes a scrap of paper from the scene of his friend's death. As the tale progresses, the three teens find in each other a measure of companionship that each had lacked. Richards demonstrates a knack for physical description ("When he spoke, the sound seemed to be amplified by the mass of red hair round his mouth") as well as for conjuring an eerie atmosphere, evoking the smog and stench of industrial London as easily as supernatural beings ("The nightmare creature roared like a train hurtling into a tunnel and clouds of hot breath erupted into the air around Eddie"). Suspense and adventure in abundance make for a thrilling read. Ages 12-18. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Joan Kindig
A strangely eerie mystery, this story is set in Victorian England and involves a mad scientist intent on creating half man-half robotic creatures, grave robbers doing his bidding, two employees of a special department in the British Museum, a Dickensian street urchin, and a minister's daughter. All the ingredients for a satisfying mystery, indeed! The audio brings us right into the streets of London where all kinds of beasties roam. Pacey's delivery is mesmerizing as we follow this horror/fantasy tale to its satisfying conclusion. This is one CD where I pushed pause on my iPod only with great reluctance.
VOYA
Richards is a well-known British author of various Dr. Who episodes and many juvenile- and young adult-level ghoulish mysteries, including the Invisible Detective series. This particular tale is set in Victorian-era London and opens with a dead man unexpectedly returning home for tea, four days after his funeral. Soon a young clockmaker, assigned to a secret department of the British Museum that investigates such unnatural anomalies, is investigating rumors of grave robbing, the walking dead, and marauding monsters. Partnered through circumstances with a streetwise pickpocket and a beautiful young aspiring actress, bookish George is almost killed for his possession of the surviving fragment of a controversial scientist's old diary, an entry that might hold the key to what odd experiments are being conducted and who is behind it all. They must be quite resourceful to outrun a mechanical dinosaur and match wits with a diabolical genius and his evil henchmen. Shall England be overrun by an army of robotic zombies? This macabre tale successfully captures the flavor of the era and fleshes out the main characters' backgrounds, taking time to explore a budding love affair between George and the actress. Young sleuths will enjoy the exciting romp though the park, the foggy streets, the sewers, the library, and the theatre-and of course they must stay for the sTance. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2006, Bloomsbury, 336p., Ages 11 to 15.
—Kevin Beach
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-In Victorian London, Albert Wilkes returns home for tea four days after his funeral. While his shocked and terrified wife rushes to prepare it, Wilkes takes the family dog for a walk and is abducted. His kidnapping is witnessed by young pickpocket Eddie, who becomes embroiled, along with an assistant at the British Museum and a clergyman's daughter, in a deadly plot involving the fragments of a diary, a secret department at the British Museum, and a dinosaurlike creature roaming the streets. Oh, and there are some zombies. This thoroughly absorbing page-turner is a terrific blend of horror and mystery with three teen protagonists. It is a quick read packed with twists, turns, and just enough gore to keep things interesting. A great choice for horror fans.-Michele Capozzella, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Scene: the foggy streets of Victorian London. Characters: Eddie, a precocious urchin who is a pickpocket by day and hero by night; George, the earnest young engineer, toiling late into the night at the British Museum repairing clocks and automata; and Elizabeth, the minister's daughter, who yearns for the adventure of a life on the stage. And, of course, there's a villainous thug lurking just around the corner, who has a telltale scar down the side of his face and goes by the ominous name of "Blade," as well as a giant creature that breathes fire into the night. This engaging story is rich with atmosphere as the trio of protagonists is brought together by fate and circumstance. The game's afoot as they try to figure out why a dead man is walking, what it is that the imposing industrialist wants from George and how they will stop his nefarious scheme. Both Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Who would feel right at home in this tale that begs to be made into a movie. A thoroughly enjoyable romp full of chases, high drama and a hint of romance in a great old-fashioned style. Simply smashing. (Fiction. 12-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780571229918
  • Publisher: Gardners Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/2007
  • Edition description: New

Meet the Author

Justin Richards has written dozens of novels, as well as audio and television scripts. He is a creative consultant to the BBC Worldwide's range of Doctor Who novels and the author of the middle-grade Invisible Detective series. Justin lives in Warwick, England.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    Mysterious

    The Death Collector is a mysterious and suspenseful book by Justin Richards. One of the main characters is Albert Wilkes he is an old man that died and don't know how. The setting is in the 1900's in Victiorian London. Albert's daughter Nora is trying to figure how he died.

    A kid named Eddie is a homeless kid who tries to steal George's piece of Glick's Diary. When George visits Lorimore he does not have Glick's Diary piece but Lorimore wants to buy it from him.

    The old man that got kidnapped by Scarface and Sidekick and don't figure out who he was.

    The author Richards did a great job setting up the story. There was a lot of mysterious things in the story. It was a great place in London for mysterious. This story was a great story and recommend it. I give it a four star rating

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    very good book!

    The book I read was a non fiction book called The Death Collector by Justin Richards takes place in Victorian London where a 14 year old pick pocket named Eddie, an assistant in an old British museum named George and a no good trouble maker named Liz join forces to stop the evil scientist from recreating dinosaurs and humans from the machines. These three children go off to an adventure to try to stop the scientists from doing this horrible deed, the kids find out from George that he has obtained a secret diary from a old scientist some pages of this old book my contain the contents of what may have been the blueprints of the prototypes of the machines and also gives a clue on who is making this all happen. If you enjoy books that will keep you wanting to read or even like books with a real good story behind it I strongly recommend this book. It is suspenseful, thrilling thrilling and you won't be able to keep your eyes away from this book .Justin Richards (Also Author of the invincible detective series) describes his words very well he also uses great format. The Death Collector will appeal to the ages of 12 and 15 it uses good vocabulary also a good a good amount of pages

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2008

    A reviewer

    THis was a great book and i would recommend it to other children or techers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted October 5, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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