Genre: Mystery Age Range: Mg Star Rating: 5 stars Series: yes - book 6
*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for THE HIGHLAND FALCON THIEF, KIDNAP ON THE CALIFORNIA COMET, MURDER ON THE SAFARI STAR, DANGER AT DEAD MAN’S PASS, and SABOTAGE ON THE SOLAR EXPRESS*
Harrison Beck and Uncle Nat climb aboard the night train to Narvik, travelling north to the Arctic Circle to see the northern lights for Christmas.
But as their train leaves Stockholm, Hal and Uncle Nat realise they’re being followed by a sinister figure, and Hal’s powers of observation are tested when Uncle Nat’s past comes back to haunt him. Journeying into the never ending night of the arctic winter, our railway detectives must outsmart an assassin, but nothing is as it seems.
Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
Hal and Uncle Nat are back in THE ARCTIC RAILWAY ASSASSIN, heading into the Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights. However, after some strange happenings in Stockholm and the disappearance of a friend who was supposed to be joining them, Nat spots an assassin who is supposed to be dead on board. It’s a race to find out what the assassin wants and how to protect themselves from him.
This sixth instalment is another whistle-stop ride through snowy landscapes – perfect for the wintry season. There are reindeers and snow mobiles and gorgeous lights in the sky. And, of course, the mystery central to every book. The danger is much more personal this time, as Nat’s identification of the assassin puts him in the crosshairs.
There’s also another family member involved. I loved how much their arrival let the book show how much Hal has grown in confidence since THE HIGHLAND FALCON THIEF, and how much Nat trusts and respects Hal’s judgement. Hal is older than at the start, and has been through a lot, and it was nice for that to be realistically portrayed. The adults are still doing their best to protect Hal, as is the duty of care any adult has to a minor, but he’s never belittled or babied. They’ve all grown across six books.
Once again, illustrator Elisa Paganelli knocks it out of the park. This is the fourth different illustration style in the series, in keeping with the styles Hal tries out. For THE ARCTIC RAILWAY ASSASSIN, it’s time for watercolours and pencil. Despite the illustrations being printed in black and white, you can easily imagine the colours painted in.
This is the final book (nooooo!) I mean, there’s been no official ruling out of more books, but there are no plans for any soon. It was a nice way to round of the series, bringing another family member in for Hal to find that he doesn’t mind sharing these adventures with his uncle but also realising he has other family he can share the fun with.
Read my reviews of other books by M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman:
Adventures on Trains (this series):
- THE HIGHLAND FALCON THIEF (#1)
- KIDNAP ON THE CALIFORNIA COMET (#2)
- MURDER ON THE SAFARI STAR (#3)
- DANGER AT DEAD MAN’S PASS (#4)
- SABOTAGE ON THE SOLAR EXPRESS (#5)
By M. G. Leonard: