Opening a Pandora's Box of great thrills

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 May, 2011, 12:00am


Julie Hearn
Published by Oxford
ISBN 978 0 19 272929 3

If there was an old wooden box in front of you and someone told you not to open it, what would you want to do? You would want to open it, of course. But one box that should never have been opened was Pandora's Box.

In Roman mythology, this box holds all possible evils. Against instructions, a girl named Pandora opened it and hideous things such as hatred, murder and greed flew out into human life. Pandora released all evil into the world.

Or did she? What if one force of evil, an as yet unknown sin, had remained trapped in the box when the lid was snapped shut again? Will someone open the box again and release this last destructive monstrous force into the world?

Julie Hearn's terrific new novel Wreckers is an edge-of-the-seat read based on a frightening and intriguing idea. It opens with a prologue set on the coast of England in 1732. A ship is wrecked in a storm. A mysterious box is salvaged from the wreckage and taken to the local manor, where a young lady opens it and is terrified.

Despite orders, a vengeful servant hides the box.

Fast forward to the not-too-distant future after London is destroyed in a catastrophic attack. Five teenage friends live in a coastal village dominated by an abandoned manor house. One day they decide to explore the dark house. What they find there changes their lives forever.

Hearn is a classy writer and Wreckers is a thrilling book. This is a novel that is going to gather much praise as readers discover and talk about it.