Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Shadow in the North

Philip Pullman

A sturdy steamship sinks like a stone in calm waters. A terrified magician performs a desperate disappearing act on a London stage. Investigating two mysteries, Sally Lockheart discovers a deadly web of clues that lead to a high-society murderer, and to the terrifying secret of the Shadow in the North...

An audiobook of the second Sally Lockhart novel that's set several years on from the first. This one finds Sally running her own financial consulting firm.  Frederick & Jim are detectives and find themselves embroiled in a muddle of a case after helping out a stage magician by the name of McKinnon. Sally meanwhile is investigating the sinking of a boat and the subsequent collapse of the shipping company into which she had advised her client to invest her savings.  The two investigations soon intertwine and the trio find themselves up against an unscrupulous business tycoon named Bellman.

The plot is detailed and the characters real.  The dialogue is evocative and the backdrop vividly painted.  All these though are to be expected with Pullman.  It doesn't have the sparkle of the first and was a slightly less joyful and exhilarating read but that isn't to reduce it's appeal as it's a very good follow up to an excellent predecessor.

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