WINNER OF THE AUGUST PRIZE FOR BEST CHILDREN´S BOOK 2014, THE DEUTSCHE JUGENDLITERATURPREIS (Children's book category, 2017), the PRIX SORCIERES 2017 and THE NORDIC COUNCIL CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE PRIZE 2015! SELECTED A WHITE RAVEN 2015.
Jakob Wegelius’ new book is an intriguing and meandering story about a puzzling murder case. The tale moves from the nocturnal harbour quarters of Lisbon, across the oceans to the mysteries of an Indian maharaja's court. It is a story of dark secrets and heinous crimes, but also of an unexpected friendship, hope and forgiveness. The Murderer’s Ape is a stand-alone title but also a continuation of The Legend of Sally Jones from 2008. The story teller is the gorilla Sally Jones, engineer on board the small cargo boat Hudson Queen. She and her friend, a sailor called the Chief are stranded in Lisbon where they were tricked into a smuggling deal which ended badly. The Hudson Queen sinks and the Chief is falsely convicted of the murder of the shadowy Alphonse Morro. For Sally Jones this is the start of a long and difficult battle both for her own survival and for exonerating her friend the Chief. She has powerful forces working against her, powers that would do anything to protect the secrets that Morro took with him when he disappeared in the swirling black waters of the River Tejos. This remarkable story is richly illustrated with fantastic and imaginative black and white drawings, all executed with finely detailed precision.
The Murderer's Ape is a White Raven 2015, i.e. it has been selected for their annual catalogue of book recommendations in the field of international children’s and youth literature. This year’s White Ravens catalogue contains 200 titles in 36 languages from 55 countries. It has been awarded the prestigious August Prize in 2014 and received The Nordic Council Children, Young People's Literature Prize 2015 and the Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis for best children's book 2017.
"Hard to summarize, but internationally applauded (not least by Philip Pullman), is the evocative The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius (..). A panoramic story of more than 600 pages, it is narrated by a gorilla who is a skilled engineer called Sally Jones. Both original and old-fashioned in its storytelling, it involves a murder investigation, a journey from Lisbon to India between the wars, intrigue and suspense. Sumptuous black-and-white illustrations show the main characters, while chapter headings conjure up scenes like little stage sets. A story to lose yourself in, with a theme of loyalty and empathy". the Sunday Times, December 2017.