The Murders Ape


Jakob Wegelius

Reviewed by:

Katy Reeve

Age range:





‘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."

Your child will enjoy the Murders Ape if they:

· Like action from the start. I was outraged for the Sally Jones and the Cheif and was rooting for them from page 1. Rich characters who you really like or dislike are beautifully developed throughout the story.

· Get drawn into a narrative through the rich description of characters and community within the setting, and enjoys the extra detail.

· Are curious and want to solve a mystery from well written clues.

· Want a book that has beautiful illustrations that bring the story alive.

· Need to develop self-confidence and reading stamina, for big chunky books. The book is an epic text but the font is not dense on a page, coupled with its short chapters and 3 parts it is an easier read than it looks. It will need an investment of time, you can read it together or even read Part One have a rest and come back to it.

My son wasn't seen for a few days (he was even reading it whilst watching Arsenal play...) but when he emerged he handed me this book and told me I HAD to read it. He was right! It feels like a classic, it's compelling without being complicated. 

Although it is long, there is never a lull in the action. The setting changes and new rich characters are introduced. The book being split into 3 parts will help the younger reader maintain their momentum. A reluctant reader or reader who has trouble getting into a book will enjoy this text.

The language is not unecessaryily flowery or figuartive. There are many characters who are all richly described so that you care about their fortunes and futures. I think everyone from 9 to 99 would love it. 

‘I don’t know when I last read a book with such pleasure. It’s ingenious, it’s moving, it’s charming, it’s beautiful, it’s exciting, and most importantly the characters are people I feel I know like old friends’ – Philip Pullman

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