The Dead Boy Detectives

Author: Jill Thompson
Artist: Jill Thompson
Titan Books
RRP: £5.99
1 84576 181 2
Available 21 October 2005

Rowland and Paine, the dead British teenagers who first appeared in Neil Gaiman's
The Sandman: Season of Mists, travel stateside to investigate a strange missing-persons case at a posh International Academy for Girls. Naturally the inquisitive duo is forced to go undercover - in drag - if they're to have a hope in hell of solving the case. It's time for dark secrets, food fights and spies as the Dead Boy Detectives learn a lot about like from the daughters of rich ambassadors and rebellious rock stars...

The Dead Boy Detectives has a decidedly amateurish feel to it. And somehow Jill Thompson manages to stretch the plot on for what seems like an age. Rowland and Paine are in America attempting to solve the mystery of a missing girl... and er... that's it.

I couldn't work out how the two dead detectives managed to wear makeup and clothes when only the young and specially gifted can see them. Wouldn't people just see their clothes floating around? Also, how come so many adults could see them in this collection? Yes, I know that this is fantasy, but why bother to set up the characters in a certain way and then mindlessly bulldoze through the guidelines you've established?

And, to add insult to injury, the conclusion has to be about the most stupid get out ever committed to paper. What where you thinking Thompson?

One that will only really appeal to Thompson's fans who have bought all her Death comics. It's really only something that I would advise the young, or mentally stunted, to read.

Ray Thompson

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