Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Book Review: Jonathan Stroud - Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase

                    

Dear Reader, 

It has come to our notice that your property is being troubled by a Wraith, Spectre or similar Type Two apparition. As you know, such Visitors are very dangerous and bring with them the risk of fatal ghost-touch. You would be wise to consider urgent remedial action. The following procedures are recommended:
  • read this book review
  • buy a copy of the following book
  • read the book thoroughly and enjoy it! 

Once these procedures have been completed, you will then become enlightened as to the suitable course of action that you need to take. 

As you can perhaps tell, I've had a serious infestation of the mind. I've been looking at this book for quite a long time on the bookshelf. In fact, to be precise, exactly three months it has been waiting patiently to be read. Eventually I cracked under the intense pressure and had to read it. The sample of ginger biscuits and the Lockwood special brew tea bags (that came with the proof) certainly helped the flow of concentration and whet the appetite - they were very scrumptious too.

This book is not published until the 29th August, so I do apologise if I'm teasing you but I just can't wait to scream about how good this book is. Although I do promise that this will be (hopefully!) a 'spoiler free' review so that you can just have a peep between the lines of the page. It is just going to give a tiny glimpse of what you can expect and perhaps an introduction to a floating spirit or two.

Jonathan has certainly taken me by surprise with this book. We all know that he writes great stories full of fantasy magic and brilliant imagination, as well as amazingly written characters in skilfully executed settings and backdrops. These are all still evident within this story but there are also elements of some Hitchcock horror genius which grows in strength towards the end of the book. You will know what I mean when you get there. 

You might want to keep the light on when you read this book. It's a dark and scary roller-coaster ride that will keep you on the edge of your seats from the very first page to the last. It's gripping, engaging and full of explosive action. It has a whole raft of nasties for the Lockwood Psychic Investigation Agency team to deal with. Unfortunately though, nothing ever goes to plan for the unlikely trio as you will all soon find out.

I have one little moan about the book regarding the predictability of the outcomes of events. I did work out most of the story before it happened, but nevertheless it worked and, if the movie goes to plan, then this will definitely work well on the big screen. 

The expectation that surrounded this book was easily delivered. It is a fast paced horror story that builds up to a massive crescendo of scary moments filled with terror and mayhem. This is a memorable story full of mystery and secrets that uncover a hidden depth of knowledge that will leave the reader captivated on many levels. The more you read, the more the  tension rises to palpable levels. 

I think that Jonathan has created a brilliant story enclosed within this book. It will certainly find many a new reader in both the young and old. Hitchcock meets Ghost Busters is perhaps the easiest way in which I can sum up this book - so be warned.......... 
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