Synopses & Reviews
Suzie Fewings, a keen family-history researcher, is delighted when her husband, Nick, catches the genealogy bug and whisks his family off to Lancashire to meet his oldest living relative, Martin, only to find him in hospital, too frail to receive visitors. Martin's daughter, Thelma, insists they stay, but her unsettling religious neighbour, Geoffrey, warns against their plans to research Nick's ancestors. It's not long before Suzie wonder if she should have heeded Geoffrey's ominous warning . . .
"Sampson's intelligent if somewhat plodding fifth Suzie Fewings genealogical mystery (after 2011's Father Unknown) takes Suzie, husband Nick, and 14-year-old daughter Millie to an old Lancashire mill town to see Nick's oldest living relative, great-uncle Martin, who's in his 90s. On arrival at Martin's house, they learn from his daughter that he suffered a stroke earlier that day. Dismayed that this potential source of family lore may soon be lost to them, Suzie, Nick, and Millie take a tour of the town, visiting the dilapidated mills in which Nick's family once worked and finding one shop that's, curiously, still operating. They later come across an old family home occupied by a cagey man who refuses them entrance. Subsequent threatening text messages and phone calls make the Fewings wary of digging into more of the mill town's ghosts and dampen anxiety-ridden Nick's interest in his family's history. The plot takes a number of twists and turns before the less-than-satisfying conclusion." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
This smart series, full of fascinating material on genealogical research, should be recommended to members of library genealogy clubs Booklist
Sampson does a nice job of offering multiple candidates for the mantle of bad guy, and the twists will keep most readers wondering what's actually been going on Publishers Weekly on Father Unknown
Genealogy buffs will appreciate the research techniques shared and the information about the plight of unwed mothers and illegitimate children in England in the 1700s Booklist on Father Unknown
About the Author
Fay Sampson, three-time nominee for "The Guardian" Children's Fiction Prize, is the author of many books, including the Pangur Ban Celtic Fantasies "Shape-Shifter," "Pangur Ban the White Cat," "Finnglas of the Horses," and "Finnglas and the Stones of Choosing,"