How did I get the book? Netgalley.
Previously Reviewed: The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1)
Synopsis: In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood & Co. hasn’t made much progress. Quill Kipps and his team of Fittes agents keep swooping in on Lockwood’s investigations. Finally, in a fit of anger, Anthony challenges his rival to a contest: the next time the two agencies compete on a job, the losing side will have to admit defeat in the Times newspaper.
Things look up when a new client, Mr. Saunders, hires Lockwood & Co. to be present at the excavation of Edmund Bickerstaff, a Victorian doctor who reportedly tried to communicate with the dead. Saunders needs the coffin sealed with silver to prevent any supernatural trouble. All goes well-until George’s curiosity attracts a horrible phantom.
Back home at Portland Row, Lockwood accuses George of making too many careless mistakes. Lucy is distracted by urgent whispers coming from the skull in the ghost jar. Then the team is summoned to DEPRAC headquarters. Kipps is there too, much to Lockwood’s annoyance. Bickerstaff’s coffin was raided and a strange glass object buried with the corpse has vanished. Inspector Barnes believes the relic to be highly dangerous, and he wants it found.
200words (or less) review: I was absolutely blown away by the first book because I didn’t know what to expect each new chapter held its own surprise and kept building making the previous Lockwood & Co. one of my favourite reads last year. So there was a little happy dance when I got my hands on The Whispering Skull.
Jonathan Stroud didn’t let me down. I wasn’t worried about the writing but I did wonder if maybe the story wouldn’t be as exciting. The second book isn’t better than the first; it’s just as good – which is brilliant because for me there wasn’t really anything that needed improving.
It took about a sentence for me to be completely hooked and I loathed having to put the book down. I’m completely sold on the world-building, so much so I was half expecting fog and/or ghosts to start floating from the page. The banter and sarcasm continue to be an excellent, I know I wasn’t really supposed to like the skull I couldn’t help myself because of his commentary.
The Whispering Skull is thrilling storytelling at its best.