A comic thriller which is full to the brim with burglaries, pursuit and menace
In Pizza Pikante, everything revolves around Afra, who is staying with her grandmother, and two life-like dolls who have been made by a clockmaker. The dolls are remote controlled and can do practically everything humans can. One of them falls into the hands of a dangerous maniac with a goatee. The clockmaker is desperate: if the goatee-man manages to copy the doll, he could set up a small international gang, or worse, a mini-murder brigade. Afra and Granny decide, with the help of doctor Bob and the handsome young pizza courier Vigo, to track down the goatee-man.<
Mirjam has made this the basis of a comic thriller which is full to the brim with burglaries, chases and menace. Naturally enough it is the children, Afra and Vigo, who have to do the real work, and this they do with verve. By a cunning device they manage to track down the goatee-man and follow him on Vigo’s motorbike right into the busy city centre. Vigo’s driving style is just as racy and versatile as Oldenhave’s writing. When the children find the goatee-man’s hiding place, they get the fright of their lives. ‘Vigo,’ Afra says softly. ‘If it gets dangerous, we’ll stay together, won’t we?’
The pair of them have a time-consuming, nerve-racking struggle to get back the stolen doll. But that’s not the end of the story: the goatee-man swears to take his revenge by blowing up buildings. Another madcap race on Vigo’s motorbike leads to a bloodcurdling and hilarious climax in the famous miniature city of Madurodam in The Hague.
Mirjam Oldenhave is a true story teller. She has the art of combining flashes of imagination, fantasy and realism: she likes a brisk change of scenery, humorous situations and terse dialogue. Friends are always on your side, especially when the going gets rough. And, although she never forces this message on her young readers, it is constantly implicit in the sympathetic atmosphere of her work.
Peter de Boer