Lockwood & Co - The Whispering Skull
By Jonathan Stroud
The Lockwood & Co series continues to shock and surprise. Our team of down at heel investigators ruffle the feathers of the Fittes Agency who, I suspect, are hiding something of malevolent significance in the archives. Maybe DEPRAC (Department of Psychic Research and Control) are concealing some unpleasant truths - they would not be the only ones to have a skeleton in the closet... Lucy Carlysle's substantial abilities as a communicator with the dead reveal her to be a medium of significance, maybe a Game Changer in the understanding of the reasons behind the epidemic of hauntings that has beset the country.
In this second installment Anthony Lockwood and his companions are asked to investigate the source of a recent disturbance at Kensal Green Cemetary. As we might expect, Lockwood has something to prove and is happy to take the case. As we might expect it does not go according to plan and and a dangerous and malevolent artefact goes missing. As we might expect, the less than pleasant Quill Kipps on their tail throughout they are involved in a race against time to prevent the thief raising the proverbial Cain.
As always with Mr. Stroud it is in the interplay of some very interesting characters that make for so much spark to come off the page. Everyone is battling not just the spectres and wraiths in abandoned houses and the catacombs but also the trust that binds their friendship. The revelation of an incredible new member of the team (I do not include in this plot spoiler the skull in the jar, who has an agenda all his own) will be sure to have the reader screaming for answers. I for one hope this sequence of witty, crafty and inventive horror capers, set in a possible contemporary, if strangely altered England, continues to run and run.
Run, and don't look behind you...