For our study on Scorpia I have chosen to analyse chapter 9 of the novel, titled Albert Bridge. I will explain how Horowitz uses writing techniques to keep the reader engaged and how he completely shifts the plot in this extremely important section where Alex Rider is shown the video of Albert Bridge. Horowitz starts this chapter by describing the large room Mrs Rothman leads Alex to at the hotel in Positano. “There was no bed, just two chairs and a trestle table with a video player and some files”, Horowitz describes.
He then engages the reader with direct speech between the two characters. He makes the text interesting by using a dash to give further information and a simile “like an actor on stage when the scenery has been removed. ” This technique helps the reader to imagine the situation by comparing it to something everyone can visualise. Suspense is then added to the chapter’s opening when short sentences, a rhetorical question and evaluative comments are used. The rhetorical question “Would he like what he heard? lets the reader interpret their own answer and makes them want to know Alex’s response. The text then explains Mrs Rothman quite the opposite to what she actually is in the novel. It lets the reader visualise Mrs Rothman being extremely nice and sympathetic towards Alex. To give this affect the text has phrases like “she invited” and actions of her standing next to Alex comforting him. This gives depth to the character of Mrs Rothman and shows a completely different side to her, other than her dangerous cold side that we see throughout the rest of the novel.
The chapter then continues by thoroughly describing a black and white photo; John Rider. “The photo showed a handsome man in military uniform, wearing a beret. He was looking straight at the camera with his shoulders back and his hands clasped behind him, he was clean-shaven, with watchful, intelligent eyes”, the book described. The last four words of the paragraph are quite ironic as the reader will soon know John Rider’s job working for Scorpia and MI6 and his profession of being a spy. This chapter is vital in the novel.
It suddenly shifts the plot while adding suspense to the viewer’s experience. It completely changes the reader’s perspective on Alex, now giving him depth and a new sense of adrenaline and determination, when he switches to the Scorpia side. Alex thinks he is following in his father’s footsteps, as well as seeking revenge on MI6 and Mrs Jones for John Rider’s death. This later is found out to be completely false when the story once again changes direction as Alex finds out the truth about his life, father and destiny.