This book has both implied and graphic violence, which doesn't add to the plotline or intrigue. Two children have been murdered in the local neighborhood, with one girl's boy described as having been found in a shallow marsh. Later in the story, a girl is assaulted with a first-person description of the feeling of fingers around her throat and air being crushed out of her lungs. What's worse is the incidental violence... one child's cherished pet parakeet is killed when a neighbor's cat breaks into the house... so the kids decide to mummify it by soaking it in brine. There's discussion of ritual sacrifices and how people used to cut off their own fingers. At the very end, the "hero" elderly Professor tells the children how his late wife was murdered by locals in a political uprising while on a charitable mission in a foreign country-- which adds nothing to the storyline except more horror.
Maybe this book would be OK for older kids 14+, but not any younger. The violence is too realistic.
The Common Sense and Common Sense Media names, associated trademarks and logos, including the Decider Slider and Age Ratings Bugs, are trademarks of Common Sense Media, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (FEIN 41-2024986).