Josephine Poole Anne Carter - Essay

Anne Carter

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In the matter of menace lurking in a smiling countryside, Josephine Poole has something of the mastery of Geoffrey Household and … Touch and Go is a chilling little exercise in la chasse humaine….

Charles and Emily share all the resilience and ingenuity of the young and they are not easily beaten. In a hilarious chase through the carnival streets, with time fast running out, the hunters become the hunted and their nefarious plot is foiled with panache. Even then, there is a bizarre realism in the ending which is characteristic of this author. Touch and Go is a thriller of more than ordinary pace and excitement, but there is nothing stereotyped about the characters or their reactions to events. Josephine Poole has a sharp and pleasantly uncharitable eye for the world around her which is not the least of her delights.

Anne Carter, "Holiday Horrors," in The Times Literary Supplement (© Times Newspapers Ltd. (London) 1976; reproduced from The Times Literary Supplement by permission, No. 3900, December 10, 1976, p. 1548.

[Touch and Go] is all very exciting and certain to appeal to the fourteen year old who has previously enjoyed mystery books and will go on to Agatha Christie in due course. The plot is convincing as are the characters, though the latter do seem to come off the production line. It is the sort of book one feels one must go on reading to the very end, although one is pretty sure all will end well there is always that small shadow of doubt which is the key to good detective writing. We could do with more books like this. There was one passage about walking along a cliff path which though one has read its like many times before still had me sitting on the edge of my chair.

"For Children from Ten to Fourteen: 'Touch and Go'," in The Junior Bookshelf, Vol. 41, No. 2, April, 1977, p. 120.