After reading Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy I decided this summer to read Pullman's four books about Sally Lockhart set in Victorian England and I'm glad I did. The books are an excellent read, and Pullman has enough changes in each book to stop them becoming repetitive.
This is the second book of the four, in which Sally, Jim and the rest of the group encounter big business and the arms trade, and battle to stop a sinister weapon being built in northern England. There are real surprises and shocks in this gripping story.
This is the second in Pullman's Sally Lockhart trilogy, the sequel to The Ruby in the Smoke. I made the mistake of reading this one first; each of the books contains big spoilers for the previous one, so I strongly recommend they are read in order.
This is another absolute masterpiece from Pullman, but rather darker than its predecessor. The Ruby in the Smoke talked about greed, desire and stupidity; The Shadow in the North addresses the question of evil face on.
Sally has begun to make a name for herself in business, an incredible achievement for a Victorian woman, and to drag Frederick Garland's photography company back from chaos and near-bankruptcy. A seemingly innocent enquiry by a client about a sunken ship and an apparently genuine clairvoyant leads Sally, Fred and Jim off on another trail of deceit and trechery, leading across Europe, and into the very heart of the British government.
If The Ruby in the Smoke was Pullman's homage to Conan Doyle, this one has a lot more of the Wilkie Collins about it. The plot is just beautiful: neatly complex and tight, twisting and with a sting in its tail that has reduced me to tears both times I've read it. There is a sense of justice and moral certitude in his writing that is deeply satisfying. If there is really a better storyteller than Pullman in England right now, I don't know about them.
on 25 June 2000
Another astounding book by Philip Pullman. His way of capturing his audience is extraordinary. The book, as his others, is quite complicated - but without knowing it, you follow everything. This book carries on from the trilogy starting with,'The Ruby in the Smoke' It stars a young defiant lady called Sally Lockhart who, in the last book, joined up with Frederick Garland, a good natured photographer. He stars in this book along with a number of familiar characters from the first book.In their spare time, they are detectives - this sounds very tacky and unoriginal but in this story it is extremely realistic. The story is set in London in the late 1800s. It is excellent and leaves you in tears at places. I highly reccomend it to any children aged between 12-15.
on 18 March 2001
I loved this book. Full of Mystery, deceit, romance, tragedy (very, very sad), and fear. The story really begins with Sally as a financial consultant in Victorian London, one of her clients loses a lot of money. Somehow it all gets mixed up with Frederick Garland, a photographer, and a seance and Jim Taylor and a magician. It also includes "bell man" and some other suspicious characters. Romance and Tragedy help this book come alive. It shows the darker side of Victorians and what people will do for power. It also shows what people will do when murders have been commited and revenge is the only thing left. A climatic ending with peace once again being restored but with a few surprises on the end and a lot of irony. Must read for Pullman fans.
This is a fabulous read.
Pure and simple Philip Pullman writes wonderful books with wonderful plots.
This is a follow up to The Ruby in the Smoke and I really would encourage you to read that splendid book first to get the maximum enjoyment out of this wonderful tale.
True this is a sequel but it is a fabulous story in its own right.
I am amazed that this book is inteneded for children- I as an adult really enjoyed reading this fabulous tale of mystery, corruption murder greed Victorian Violence and Sally Lockheart.
Pullman really knows his stuff the plot and story lines are reviewed well by other reviwers so I will focus on the background to the books.
It is set in Victorian London and that my friends means the underbelly and seedy side of London Life- Jim and Fred now run a detective Agency and my they really know how to get tooled up when violence threatens.
Knuckledusters and 'night sticks are used' and when the opponents use a knife they have no hesitation in smashing the assailents face in with a cosh and kicking him in the nadgers when he is down- so he won;t be getting up in a hurry nor reproducing either.
Jim and Fred never escape unharmed either, broken teeth, black eyes and broken bones aboud.
Sally plays her part well and there are wonderful side characters who are never what they seem and villens abound like hornets when the hive is threatened.
Wonderful stuff and not just for kids.
Recommended 100 per cent.
on 25 March 2006
Sally Lockhart- now older and maturer, and a rare woman Financal Advisor, discovers £3000 has gone missing from one of her customers. She sets out to get this £3000 back, no matter what it takes, and finds herself caught up in a case of unimaginable evil. Her friends- Frederick Garland, who she met in the previous book, and Jim, again from the previous book, have started up a detective business and help her out, meeting a suspicious Conjuror, who seems to be on the run from some shifty characters. As the story unfolds, they meet more intriguing characters, and discover more and more about the evil behind it all.
A beautifully written book- my favourite of the first three, for it's powerful story and emotional ending.
I recommend it to teenagers and adults.
on 21 April 2016
The Shadow in the North is one of Pullman’s Sally Lockhart books, and so as such, it’s a Victorian era tale of suspense, mystery and intrigue. I find it hard to believe that anyone wouldn’t love this book, although I will admit that it isn’t the best in the series, in my view. Then again, I didn’t read them in order, and so perhaps that’s why – I often find that books in Pullman’s series just don’t work if you read them as standalones.
Still, you get to meet a lot of familiar faces here, and Sally herself is back as our protagonist. She’s a little different here than she was in The Ruby in the Smoke – the events of other books have changed her, which is interesting because it adds an extra dimension to her character. Sally feels like an old friend by now, and when she comes up against danger again, along with Jim Taylor, who’s up to his old shenanigans. It’s good to see those guys again.
Overall, I do think that this book deserves a place on your shelf, especially if you’re interested in Victorian stories and steampunk stuff, but there are better Pullman books out there to start with. Luckily, I’m yet to read a bad book of his, and so you can’t really go wrong – I say, put this on the list of books that you want, and go and buy Northern Lights or The Ruby in the Smoke, if you haven’t already. Oh, and be sure to come back and to let me know what you think.
on 11 January 2004
This is the second book in the Sally Lockhart series. I suggest you read the first one, 'The Ruby in the Smoke' first, or you won't understand some of it. This is my favourite of the four, and when you read it you'll know why.
PS: I dare you not to cry and laugh at the same time at the end!!!!!
on 23 June 2005
what can i say? Phillip Pullman is without a doubt the worlds most amazing writer, and nothing short of genius. The shadow in the north plunges you into the dark and mysterious depths of victorian london, taking you on a journey through murder and crime solving, with every other emotion along the way, including a beautiful romance. Evry sentence has you captivated. once you've started reading this book, and the other three for that matter, you cant put it down, so make sure you got plenty of time so you wont be interrupted. Pullman has that rare ability to convey all types of emotions in a beautiful as well as subtle way that never ceases to amaze me. i have read al the books in this series at least 3 times each, and will continue to read them, il never get bored. What I particulary like about this story is the intense attraction between sally and fred, and i think pullman conveys it beautiful. This book has the power to make you both laugh and cry, and left me feelin empty at the death of one of the characters (not telling who). well i could continue to ramble on for several pages but all il say is please read this book, and te other three as well and open your minds to the amazing world of sally lockhart. believe me youll never feel the same about books gain, nothing compares. Pullman, you rock! i hope i may some day have the honour of meeting you. thnx for reading, hope it helped
Second in the Sally Lockhart series set in Victorian England - a modern take on crime in Dicckensian era. Feisty heroine(s) tackling evils in Victorian England
Six years on from the "Ruby In the Smoke" sees Sally (now 22) as a financial consultant chasing a dastardly indutrialist/arms manufacturer ( asset stripper and ruthless destroyer of companies/ships etc ) to reclaim losses experienced by one of her clients who made investments based on her recommendations.
Murder and mayhem ensue and Sally loses a close friend / lover in the process
The BBC issued a double DVD of this and "Ruby in the smoke" starring Billy Piper and Matt Smith ( pre Dr Who Xi) - available on Amazon - try to read the book(s) first although the screenplay is fairly close to the story Sally Lockhart Mysteries - (Ruby in the Smoke & Shadow in the North) [DVD]