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on 27 October 2001
This is a fantastic follow-up to the previous two Sally Lockhart books, and the best of the three (I'm excluding the Tin Princess because Sally is hardly in it). Philip Pullman again shows us that he can write a childrens' book that is also perfect for adults... and in a truly adult way, as opposed to the childhood nostalgia that Harry Potter can evoke.
During the first part of the adventure, Sally falls very far indeed, losing almost everything she values, as her enemies twist the legal and social system of Victorian England against her. You end up really feeling outrage and anger on Sally's behalf, especially if you know her from the previous books.
As you read, you know there'll be a fight-back, but (if you've read his other books) you'll also know that this author doesn't always deliver a happy ending, or even characters who live to the last page. So, you're left on the edge of your seat, wondering what's going to happen...
The only criticism I'd level is that the mysterious identity of the villain is all too obvious (especially if you've read the other books), and Sally's inability to spot it is therefore frustrating. But even that doesn't take away from the excitement and tension that keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next...
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on 19 January 2014
Arrived exactly as advertised. I love the covers on this set, as I used to own three different ones but lent them to other people and never got them back, so I bought the set again but with these different covers, which I like because they fit more with the Victorian/Edwardian theme of the books and look more like Penny Dreadful covers and the cartoons that were around at the time.
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on 27 January 2016
Philip Pullman - what more can I say, I am a huge fan of his works, and this series did not disappoint. Brilliantly written.
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on 30 January 2015
ordered on behalf of a friend who was very pleased
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on 20 May 2015
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on 11 August 2001
Of all the P Pullman books (His Dark Materials, the other Sally Lockhart books), this is the one I have enjoyed the most. It is very tightly plotted, the twists and turns making the book totally un-put-downable. At another level there is a lot of psychological depth - in facing her enemy, in seeing him as a human being (pitying him, trying to save his life), Sally is also facing her Shadow. As part of her awakening she looks more closely at her own actions, at things she had taken for granted or chosen not to see, and as a result understands the true purpose of her life, and how she must transform it. Jung would have been proud of you Philip!
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on 14 July 2015
Love Philip Pullman's characters and story telling
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on 27 June 2010
This is the third book in the Sally Lockhart Mysteries series and is once again Philip Pullman at his best. I highly recommend it.
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on 3 March 2016
The third and best of the Sally Lockhart books.
The story incorporates the rise of socialist organisations, Russian Jews fleeing the pogroms of 1881, and issues of class identity, yet it's not in the least dry or academic. All the sociological and historical elements are vividly brought to life and seamlessly integrated into the narrative. Plus it's a more emotionally involving adventure this time as Sally goes on the run with her toddler daughter in the breathless and gripping central section. My only gripe is that some loose plot strands are tied up a little too swiftly and neatly in the final chapter.
Ignore the "young adult" label, this is a grown-up yarn with brains, heart and a conscience.
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VINE VOICEon 10 May 2013
It is 1881 in Victorian London and Sally Lockhart is faced with solving a mystery that could cost her the one thing most dear to her: her own child. On her doorstep is a man with a piece of paper telling her that a man she has never met is petitioning her for divorce for her cruelty and immoral behaviour. With her business partners Jim Taylor and Webster Garland away on a photography expedition she seems vulnerable and the net closes fast around her, a forged marriage certificate, accusations of improper behaviour lethal to a woman and her business in the 1880s. And behind all is the shadowy puppet master figure of the Tzaddik.

Great melodrama, Sally despite all the odds managing to hold her own in a world in which men have all the power and influence. Not as warm as The Shadow in the North, but still good
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