Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett
Short Review: A standout story from Pratchett’s Johnny Maxwell trilogy, read with great personality and skill by Richard Mitchley. Our hero Johnny learns that he can see and speak to the Dead in his local cemetery, and winds up facing down corrupt, frightening enemies.
Long Review: The second book in the Johnny Maxwell series follows Johnny as he discovers his ability to see and talk to the dead, and then intercedes on the behalf of the ghosts living in his local cemetery. Johnny stands up to crooked local politicians and thugs, hangs out with his friends, and learns a great deal about local and British history and politics along the way. As I’ve come to expect, Pratchett’s story is funny, sharp, and thoroughly enjoyable. The story is slightly scary in a few parts, but it’s never the Dead who are frightening–Johnny is threatened by normal, flesh and blood evil.
Mitchley is a fantastic reader. He developed many distinct voices for the different characters in the novel, and he maintains clear separation between the characters as he narrates. His pitches, accents, and pacing are enchanting. Mitchley’s work is an absolute treat to hear, and I plan to seek out other audiobooks he has narrated.