Review: ‘The Screaming Staircase’ by Jonathan Stroud #COYER

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan StroudFor the last fifty years or so, ghosts have been plaguing the earth in increasing numbers. People don’t go out after dark. People use all manner of defenses known to keep the phantoms at bay. People call in specialists to eradicate these specters.

Everyone knows that children are much more sensitive to seeing the returned dead, and some children are more keen than others. Lucy Carlyle has been working for a long time in the field, but when she doesn’t trust her instincts, all of her co-workers meet a horrifying end. Needing a fresh start, she goes to London.

All of the agencies purge the infested area of ghosts; they don’t try and figure out why or when or how these people died and decided to haunt. But when Lockwood and Lucy are called in to deal with a nasty wraith who is the cause of a tenant’s death, solving the mystery surrounding the haunting could be the company’s ticket to notoriety and more business. But at what cost?

What a spooky, fun, engrossing tale! Set in an alternate modern-day London, this world where children work at night and the adults hide indoors is chilling, dangerous and thrilling. There’s no romance (at least yet) and it totally reminded me of an Enid Blyton’s Famous Five or Five Find-Outers book series that had been written for an older (and modern) audience. Adding the mystery/crime solving aspect to the ghost stories isn’t new, but here, it’s supernatural…and a series!

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud was published by Disney Hyperion on September 17, 2013. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to NetGalley/the Publisher/the Author.

Rating: 4.5

Genre: Young Adult Fiction Fantasy Paranormal Mystery Thriller Series

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