Alex is a teenager who has been badly affected by his parents’ divorce and after trouble at school goes on a business trip to Amsterdam with his father; he is left in the company of the much older daughter of his father’s publisher who takes him around the city and shares some of her historical research with him. He is drawn to a Japanese mask which seems to be haunted. Creepiness ensues.
Why did I want to read it?
What did I think?
I really liked Through Dead Eyes. I sympathised with Alex a great deal, with his sulkiness and confused feelings and hating his Mum while missing her and resenting the bits of his Dad’s life that were going on as normal. The supernatural elements of the story work well, with enough tension between “is it real?” and “is it just his imagination?” to keep you hooked. I always associate Amsterdam with sunny days and bustling tourists but it comes across as dark and cold and sinister in this story.
Aimed at young adults like most of Priestley’s books yet this old girl enjoyed it very much. I had to read it over a couple of days but it could easily be gobbled up in one sitting (and would be all the more effective for that).