By Sophie Green
Potkin and Stubbs is a wonderful noir mystery thriller, complete with down-and-out private investigators, corrupt government officials, neon-soaked alleyways and, of course, a crime to solve.
Lil is ‘a wiry 12-year-old with cup handle ears and a belly full of ambition’ who dreams of being an investigative journalist. How can you not warm to a girl like that?
There are supernatural elements and fast-paced twists and turns aplenty as Lil becomes drawn into investigating a series of unexplained fires and suspicious deaths. Along the way, we meet a host of fascinating characters including Nedly, a mysterious boy who struggles to be seen, and jaded private investigator, Abe Mandrel. The excitement builds to a tense and genuinely scary crescendo, before tying up most (but, tantalisingly, not all) of the loose ends with a satisfying conclusion.