Book excerpt


Marcus Sedgwick

Roaring Brook Press

1Wash Day, dusk
Even the dead tell stories.
Sig looked across the cabin to where his father lay, waiting for him to speak, but his father said nothing, because he was dead. Einar Andersson lay on the table, his arms half raised above his head, his legs slightly bent at the knee, frozen in the position in which they’d found him; out on the lake, lying on the ice, with the dogs waiting patiently in harness.
Einar’s skin was gray; patches of frost and ice still clung to his beard and eyebrows despite the warmth of the cabin. It was only a matter of degree. Outside the temperature was plunging as night came on, already twenty below, maybe more. Inside the cabin it was a comfortable few degrees above freezing, and yet Einar’s body refused to relax from its death throes.
Sig stared and stared, in his own way frozen to the chair, waiting for his father to get up, smile again, and start talking. But he didn’t.
They say that dead men tell no tales, but they’re wrong.
Even the dead tell stories.
MARCUS SEDGWICK is the author of ten previous novels for young readers and has been short-listed for numerous children’s book awards, including the Carnegie Medal, The Guardian Prize, and the Edgar Allan Poe Award. He lives in Sussex, England.