The Glass Demon
UK (May 2010); US (August 2011)
Seventeen-year-old Lin Fox finds a body in an orchard. As she backs away in horror, she steps on broken glass.
Then blood appears on her doorstepblood, and broken glass.
Something terrible is found in the cemetery. Shards of glass lie by a grave.
As the attacks become more sinister, Lin doesn't know whom to trust. She's getting closer to the truth behind these chilling discoveries, but with each move the danger deepens. Someone wants Lin goneand won't give up until he's got rid of her and her family. Forever.
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"I absolutely loved The Glass Demon. It is incredibly spooky, but also a brilliant novel of family life. The atmosphere is quite Grimms' fairy talesbut also incredibly modern. I found it impossible to put down."
Helen Fraser, MD of Penguin UK
"For teenage readers, Helen Grant's second novel, The Glass Demon (Puffin, £6.99), is told from the point of view of a modern-day teenage girl temporarily and unwillingly relocated to a German forest while her image-obsessed, university-teacher father does research into some missing medieval stained glass. Witty instead of facetious, occasionally scary without seeming merely silly, well-plotted and beautifully written, it is everything a young-adult novel should be. Helen, please keep on writing."
"Helen Grant's publisher is marketing her as "the Stieg Larsson of teen fiction", but don't let that put you off. Grant is an original, accomplished author in her own right and with The Glass Demon, her second novel, she brings us a gripping and atmospheric adventure, involving murder, family break-up, chilling folklore and warped religion.
The story centres on 17-year-old Lin, the daughter of a failed academic who drags his entire family from their home in an English university town to rural Germany in search of some missing medieval stained glass he believes will make his name and his fortune. The glass is said to be haunted by a demon who will punish any efforts to remove it from its hiding place. As soon as the family arrives, a spate of gruesome murders begins, with the bodies always surrounded by shards of broken glass.
There are shades of Larsson in the way the murderer takes his cue from biblical stories, but the dark, chilling mood is really closer to the Brothers Grimm. Grant builds the suspense cleverly, maintaining the tension with a light touch, and Lin is an appealingly spunky narrator. It is barely a year since this author's impressive debut, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, earmarked her as a writer to watch, and this follow-up will consolidate her reputation as a talented new author."
"Helen Grant's wonderful debut, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, has just been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. This second novel confirms what a talented writer she is. It is a compelling mystery about an English family staying in a grim house in German woods, and the search for some stained-glass windows from which an evil demon is said to spring. A series of deaths and threatening events fill the reader and the 17-year-old narrator, Lin, with foreboding. An atmosphere of mounting unease builds to a terrifying climax and, along with Lin, we are drawn towards believing the unbelievable. The novel is knowledgeable about German Life, and well observed about unrequited fancying and family relationships: the vain father, shallow stepmother, sweet, self-destructive sister and baby brother are all memorable and persuasive. This book is both painful and sometimes blackly funny. Grant handles place, people and red herrings with originality and precision."
The Sunday Times (Children's Book of the Week)
Puffin, UK Paperback, May 2010, ISBN: 978-0141325767
Bantam, US Paperback, June 2011, ISBN: 978-0385344203