The Murderer's Ape
Sally Jones is an extraordinary ape, who moves among humans without speaking but understands everything. A skilled engineer who learned her craft from her best friend, the Chief (Henry Koskela), the pair have have been operating a cargo boat for many years, sailing around the world and having lots of adventures. But a job they are offered ends badly and the Chief is falsely accused of murder. A bereft Sally Jones determines to free her comrade but, hungry and alone in Lisbon and unable to communicate, her quest seems doomed. A fortunate meeting with Ana Molina, a beautiful young woman with the voice of an angel, changes everything and they embark on an amazing journey to expose corruption and resolve the mystery surrounding a tragic love story.
This is a beautifully structured, multi-layered novel that unfolds gently while keeping you captivated by the vivid characters and exotic locations. Translated from Swedish, The Murderer's Ape is ideal for fans of Tintin, and readers who love a big (nearly 600 pages), complex mystery. One of my three top reads for 2017 and, with its lush presentation, a gorgeous gift.
Sally Jones is not only a loyal friend, she's an extraordinary individual. In overalls or in a maharaja's turban, this unique gorilla moves among humans without speaking but understanding everything. She and the Chief are devoted comrades who operate a cargo boat. A job they are offered pays big bucks, but the deal ends badly, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder.
For Sally Jones this is the start of a harrowing quest for survival and to clear the Chief's name. Powerful forces are working against her, and they will do anything to protect their secrets.
Winner of Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis 2017 and The Nordic Council Children and Young People's Literature Prize 2015 and August Prize 2014.
"I don't know when I last read a book with such pure and unalloyed pleasure. It's ingenious, it's moving, it's charming, it's beautiful, it's exciting, and most importantly the characters are people I fell I know like old friends. I thank Jakob Wegelius wholeheartedly for giving me several hours of joy." - Philip Pullman
"Sally Jones is now my favourite heroine in recent Children's books. Move over King Kong, there's a new great ape in town. Charming, moving, and page-turning - what's not to like about this very original novel?? You gor-really got to read this!" - Julia Golding, author of 'The Diamond of Drury Lane'
"This may be the most charming book I've read all year." - New York Times Book Review
"A head-spinning story of mystery, intrigue, love and adventure." - Shelf Awareness
"A complex mystery, an intricately constructed narrative, and deep characters. Committed, careful readers will be richly rewarded." - Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"A thrilling adventure. Prepare to meet the remarkable Sally Jones; you won't soon forget her." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A richly imagined and thoroughly unique adventure Booklist, (starred review) A new animal heroine has arrived on the scene. An unusual and oddly charming adventure." - School Library Journal
"[Sally Jones is] such a sympathetic character, with her longing for the Chief and her dread of being caged in a zoo, that readers will be entirely content to follow her slow progress, the novel's pace being more leisurely than dramatic yet somehow highly satisfying." - The Horn Book
"The best protagonist and narrator I have read since I don't know when... An instant classic." - Teenreads
"If you like the Tintin books... this will make you very happy... A thrilling adventure." - Paul Zelinsky
Jakob Wegelius is a Swedish writer and illustrator who lives and works in the small village of Mortfors. In Sweden, he was awarded the August Prize for Best Children's Book and the Nordic Council Children and Young People's Literature Prize for The Murderer's Ape, which is also an International Youth Library White Raven selection.