Necropolis by Anthony Horowitz
This is the fourth story in "The Power Of Five" series, and although I had not read any of the other books, this one is so well-crafted that it is perfectly possible to jump straight in to folowing the the life of Scarlett, the last of the Five Child Guardians who, when they are finally united, are the only force which can hold back the relentless and overwhelming evil of the Old Ones determined to take over the world once more.
A supernatural fantasy/thriller book set firmly and squarely in modern day society, we follow Scarlett's relatively normal life in affluent suburban London, then on a school trip where she opens a Church door which unexpectedly acts as a portal which transports her to a dilapidated monastery in the Ukraine. Here she meets evil face to horrifying face, finds out that she is the last of the Five to be discovered in this generation and realises that her life is never, ever going to be normal again.
The series is aimed at teenaged readers and my thirteen year old daughter has read the other books and enjoyed them. She has been patiently waiting for me to finish this one so she can read it, but I would be wary of giving this book to a younger reader unless you are confident that h/she is fairly mature and of a strong disposition, as some of the situations are both quite violent and graphically described. There are quite a few deaths of minor characters which made me wince, and I'm used to reading Andy McNab and Chris Ryan.....
The bulk of the book's fast-paced action takes part in Hong Kong, and I was absolutely spell-bound from the first page to the last. It is definitely one of the very best thrillers I have read in a long time. Very highly recommended, and I am now reading the first book in the series, "Raven's Gate", to see what I have been missing !
Many thanks to the staff at The Book People for sending me a review copy !