Edge, Christopher: Shadows of the Silver Screen.
Shadows of the Silver Screen
Nosy Crow, 2013, pp255, 6.99 [pounds sterling]
978 0 85763 052 0
Thirteen-year-old Penny Tredwell is the author of bestselling tales of the macabre under the pseudonym Montgomery Flinch: only a very few people know that the 'public' Montgomery Flinch is really the actor Monty Maples.
A caller at the office of The Penny Dreadful comes with a proposition: to use the new technology of cinematography to tell the story of one of 'Flinch's' first stories The Daughter of Darkness. Edward Gold has technology which surpasses even the wonders of Victorian cinema. His Veritescope has sound and colour and is uncannily realistic. With Montgomery Flinch himself starring, the film is bound to be a hit, although Gold's behaviour as a director is increasingly suspicious: why has he made so many seemingly minor changes to the script?--and who is the angry Frenchman whom Penny and her friend Alfie encountered at Gold's office?
On set at the remote and Gothic Eversholt Manor, things get darker, and it almost looks as though the characters of the story are beginning to take over. The solution to the mystery can be taken as something of a satire of the appeal of cinema to its audiences, but for its intended readers, of course, Shadows of the Silver Screen is a deft and amusing supernatural thriller; part of a series which should attract many young fans. The author has a gift for plot and character, and while Gold is a convincing melodrama villain the most interesting thing about the revelation at the end is that we still feel a lot of sympathy for him. And the last line is a satirical delight!