Cover art by Michael Heath

This is the second book in the Lockwood series by Stroud, I reviewed the first one HERE. In this story, Anthony Lockwood and his employees and teammates Lucy Carlyle and George Cubbins once again try to solve a haunting problem in an alternate version of London where ghosts are everywhere, and their touch is deadly. Only a small number of children have the psychic ability to see and hear them, and such children are employed by the government to help remove dangerously haunted objects to protect the public. Lockwood’s small firm has had some success, but they have a hard time competing with much larger firms like their main rival The Fittes Agency. When an excavation company uncovers a grave in a London cemetery containing an extremely powerful supernatural object—a mirror framed by bones of the angry dead that may look into their haunted world—both the Lockwood and Fittes agencies are put on the case. It’s a sort of deadly competition, and the lives of the young agents are at risk in more ways than one. The story is full of frightening, suspenseful escapades as both teams begin to close in on the real story behind the mirror, and Lockwood has a secret weapon: an old skull that seems to know a lot about the case, and who whispers about it to Lucy. But how much the skull’s words can be trusted is the question, as it seems to delight in getting the team into trouble.

I liked the first book of this series a lot, it’s version of London and Londoners in constant danger from ghosts most of them couldn’t even see was a clever idea. Now it seems all too close to Covid, though, and not nearly as much fun. The characters and plot of this one are appealing and the book is a page turner, but I had questions about how this world works, and how Lockwood and Company work, that weren’t being answered in the first book, and they still aren’t in this one. If you like scary stories, these may appeal to you, but I’m not sure I will read any more of the series. Still, recommended.

Lockwood and Co The Whispering Skull

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