Review by Woodrow Phoenix
The Devil’s Organ is the eighth album of Roger Leloup’s Yoko Tsuno to be translated by Cinebook, but the second volume in the original series. It follows The Curious Trio, sharing the same cartoonier drawing, and a script that mixes bits of comedy with action, unlike the more sober later books.
On a large boat sailing along the Rhine in Germany, Yoko, Vic and Pol are filming for a new TV show when they see a young woman throw herself into the river. Yoko and Pol dive in and rescue her, only to discover that she didn’t jump – she was pushed. Yoko decides to help the young woman find her assailant, because she has the strong feeling that the would-be murderer has killed before. The young woman, Ingrid, is a famous organist, which comes in handy when the group discovers a giant pipe partially buried in the grounds of Ingrid’s family house. But who buried the pipe, and how does this link to Ingrid’s missing father?
The Yoko Tsuno stories alternate their themes from one book to the next, with a science fiction extravaganza followed by a smaller-scale detective mystery. After the big set-pieces of the previous book, this one is a tale of intrigue and murder which requires the keen brain of a detective, a nose for ferreting out clues, proficiency in hand-to-hand combat and a thorough technical grounding in material sciences to get to the bottom of a complicated and dangerous scheme. Luckily, Yoko has all those skills and plenty of others besides.
The Devil’s Organ is a very well-plotted mystery that has scary and weird moments which are just worrying enough to make young readers want to find out what will happen to Yoko, but carefully exciting rather than gruesome (although the ending is a little intense). If Yoko’s new friend Ingrid seems familiar it’s because she also appears in On the Edge of Life, another spooky mystery set in a picturesque German town. That adventure was originally the seventh album, but since these stories are being translated out of sequence, it’s book one of Cinebook’s Yoko Tsuno stories.
The next volume in this series is The Forge of Vulcan.