Sunday, 3 November 2013

Review - The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1)

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again . . .

Amazon UK

When I saw The Screaming Staircase, I knew I had to read it. A chilling children’s story about psychic investigation agency in an alternative London plagued by ghosts sounded right up my alley! And The Screaming Staircase certainly didn’t disappoint.

Lucy, George and Lockwood work for Lockwood and Co, an agency that investigates hauntings. I love the idea that children have to hunt ghosts because only they have psychic sensitivity to malevolent spirits. The story has just the right blend of humour and horror without being truly terrifying, and the plot races along. I was hooked! The characters are just as engaging as the plot, wonderfully believable and three-dimensional. Lucy is a fantastic heroine and the dialogue between the three young ghost hunters sparkles with life.

This is one of the most engaging ghost stories I’ve read in a long time, and the start of what promises to be a fantastic series. The ghosts’ histories are poignant and well-developed, adding depth to the story, and I love the dynamic of the three central characters. I absolutely loved this tale of three brave and believable heroes as they face the ghostly presences that haunt this brilliantly detailed version of a haunted London. A definite five stars from me!

Rating: *****

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