The Name of this Book is Secret
London, Usbourne, 2007, 390p
People say that you never really grow up. The Name of this Book is Secret is confirmation of this.
The first page of this book advises the reader to turn away - the cover is splattered with warnings not to read on, that you are in danger, and to tell no one about this book. In the first few pages, Pseudonymous Bosch claims, "you can't hold me responsible for the consequences". Such words were all I needed for the child inside me to rise up and make me read on.
The Name of this Book is Secret is the story of Cass and Max-Ernest (fake names, of course - Bosch insists that we must not know the real names or places of these events, as it would place the reader in iminent danger), who stumble upon a mystery following the death of a magician. The plot is littered with kipnapping, near-death experiences, and code-breaking, as well as intermissions in which Bosch speaks directly to the reader to offer warnings or opportunities to escape.
There are wonderful additional details, such as footnotes in which Bosch veers of at right angles on explanatory rants, and an appendix at the end full of recipes, definitions and card tricks. Also, the intensity of the drama is broken up by comic relief in the form of Max-Ernest's desperate attempts to find the perfect joke.
This book made me feel like a child again. Being told not to read the book made me desperate to plough through it. And there are more! Bosch has written a whole series. In The Name of this Book is Secret, Bosch ties all the loose ends together, but can't help but offer the suggestion that this story continues. I feel my only choice is to read on.