The Screaming Staircase

Posted on September 13, 2016 at 6:05 PM

Book Review: The Screaming Staircase

I've been a devoted fan of Jonathan Stroud's writing since I picked up The Amulet of Samarkand, the first book of The Bartimaeus Trilogy. From the first word, I was entranced by Stroud's prose, his narration and voice, and the cast of characters inhabiting his stories. Of course, I devoured The Bartimaeus Trilogy in short order, leaving me with that old headache every reader knows too well. I wanted more!

Stroud was not one to disappoint. More of the great detail and narration, captivating characters and fascinating adventures can be had in the tales of Lockwood & Co., beginning with The Screaming Staircase. The book is a fantastic tale of ghost hunting and supernatural peril, told in the best tradition of sleuthing. The set up, like with the Bartimaeus stories, is a mystical tale set in a London that everyone will know and recognize, but which is a city that neverwas. 

Lockwood plays Holmes to Lucy Carlyle's Watson, while the at times coarse and yet indespensible George Cubbins plays the perfect Johnny-on-the-Spot with witticisms, barbs, helpful advice, and a host of talents that every ghost hunter needs. Together, the trio hunt for a killer long forgotten, and fight for their lives against the deadly threat of "ghost touch" as they seek to cleanse London of unwelcome "Visitors" who have taken up residence after the advent of "the Problem."

Stroud's prose, his dialogue, and his pacing are first rate. The descriptions of the ghostly threats were absolutely haunting. Nothing about the story disappointed.

Full recommendation for The Screaming Staircase to anyone who loves a good scarefest, immediately sympathetic characters, and a sense that the story might well be taking place right around the corner (or under the bed, for that matter). Check out Lockwood & Co. on Stroud's website.

Categories: Book Reviews

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