Running Girl: A Garvie Smith Mystery by Simon Mason, reviewed by Tony Bradman
The idea of a school-aged detective isn’t exactly original, but I don’t think there’s ever been a character quite like the excellent Garvie Smith, Simon Mason’s new kid on the YA block. Garvie is a combination of the eccentric and hardboiled detective types – a natural maths genius with an off-the-scale IQ who chooses to be a slacker, a 16-year-old black boy with a bunch of dodgy mates and a taste for spliffs. He’s sharper than Sherlock, more moral than Marlowe, and way too cool to be in school.
There are a few faults, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment. The plot has one twist too many, and as Garvie’s foil, Singh is an uneasy mix of a spluttering Lestrade and a confused Watson, although that might change. I’m looking forward to meeting Garvie again – I have a feeling it could be the start of a beautiful friendship.