It is a while since I stayed up until the small hours of the morning just to finish a book, but I did last night. I was reading Uma & Imp, a children's novel by Larisa Villar Hauser.
Uma & Imp is a rollicking mystery adventure story. The plot revolves around 11-year-old Uma's search for her parents who vanished in mysterious circumstances when she was four. Uma finds a clue to their disappearance hidden in an old photograph and is soon searching for an elusive Prof Harris. Unfortunately she quickly discovers that she is not the only one seeking him.
Aided, abetted and hindered in turn by the irrepressible Imp, Uma eventually locates Harris only to find sinister characters, El Jefe, Barrel and Stick are in hot pursuit. As the story unfolds we are riding a speeding rollercoaster of a plot which just gets faster and faster.
The various twists, turns and narrow escapes are interspersed with humorous episodes involving either Imp or dotty Aunt Callista, making it a fun read as well as a cracking page-turner. My favourite character is the puckish Imp who is plays the role of both mentor and mischief-maker to the more serious Uma.
I just hope there is a sequel as I'm really starting to miss Imp. Should appeal to children aged anywhere between 9 and 90.
I've given it 5 stars and it has made it into my Top 100 children's books.