- Publisher: Scholastic (June 1972)
- ISBN-10: 9990371482
- ISBN-13: 978-9990371482
- Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 2.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 463 g
Steve Forrester, a teen who is trying to find himself, goes to spend the summer at his uncle's hotel. The first guest he registers is bundled up in an overcoat and gloves despite the heat. When Steve takes the man his towels, he learns why: the man's body is cobalt blue, from at least the waist up. Stunned, Steve frets about whether he should tell his uncle and aunt about their guest. The blue man makes up Steve's mind for him the next morning; instead of checking out, the blue man kills Steve's uncle and escapes.
Steve climbs into his uncle's Hudson Hornet and gives chase. Over the course of the next couple of days, he learns that he is suspected of his uncle's murder. Now, as he chases the blue man, the state police are chasing him. A sensible girl gives Steve temporary shelter, but he knows he can't rest until he captures the blue man. At last they meet in New York City, in an exciting confrontation that answers the question of how the man came to be blue.
This juvenile novel, a precursor to Mr. Platt's stellar "Sinbad" books, starts with a memorable paragraph and proceeds through a plot as twisty as a luge ride with an equally brisk pace. There is no good moment to put the book down; fortunately, an average reader can finish the novel in a reasonable time.
When the book was published in the 1960s, America's librarians warned that the characters spoke in ungrammatical English. In other words, Steve and his cohorts sound natural, real. This book was ahead of its time as juvenile mysteries go; Mr. Platt did not concoct a '50s-style sedate story. It has guts, a raw, lively structure that does not shield its intended audience from reality. As such, Mr. Platt deserves praise for being willing not to treat his audience with condescension, and the book makes as good a read for adults as it does for nine-year-old boys who are lucky enough to discover it at the library.