• T.C. Hansing

The Spine’s ‘Book of Today’ – May 6th, 2021 – The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

Updated: May 8

I remember when I got The Bartimaeus Trilogy #1: The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud as a Christmas gift over a decade ago. I finished the whole thing in a matter of days and was then able to get my hands on The Golem’s Eye and Ptolemy’s Gate soon after. I loved them all so much (the last book in the series, The Ring of Solomon, is arguably one of the best books I have ever read) that over ten years later, I still remained curious of Stroud’s other work.


First off, none of The Bartimaeus Trilogy books are taking home the prize of ‘Book of Today.’ I simply pointed them out because they were the driving force for my curiosity of Jonathan Stroud’s other work - namely The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood and Co. #1). Admittedly, when I first heard about the Lockwood and Co. series, I was hesitant. The series looked to be targeting a slightly younger audience than I might’ve liked, and I was no longer the scrawny teenager that a decade had left behind. When I started reading it, I expected to come away disappointed that Stroud didn’t write another Bartimaeus book instead. Except that didn’t happen….

I feel like I'm stating the obvious, but Jonathan Stroud is an impressive writer. The uniqueness of his stories and his skill at pulling the readers along for the ride – page after page - make this a series you should not put off reading for much longer. If you have an interest in horror fiction or have enjoyed the author’s other books, The Screaming Staircase might be for you.


Read my review below to see if the ‘The Book of Today’ might draw your interest:


The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood and Co. #1)


“In the dead of night, the other-worldly stir - called from their rest by a source held dear to them, as if by magnetism. When the events began, they caused great fear in the inhabitants of London. But soon organizations began to rise up to deal with these strange and unique occurrences. Comprised mostly of children, who have heightened sensitivity to the various spirits, they must find a way to deal with horrifying situations and try not to lose their lives in the process. Lucy Carlyle, of the Lockwood & Co. establishment, is one such ghost hunter. Alongside the charming and talented Anthony Lockwood himself, they use their keen intellect (and maybe an iron chain or two) to solve cases. When they are rushed into the biggest case of their careers at Combe Carey Hall, the group realizes they just might have bitten off more than they can chew. It’s the kind of story - of dark secrets, perilous adventure and stirring fear – that’s bound to leave you grasping the book harder than the mystifying ghosts cling to their own source.”


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I can highly recommend this book to anyone – no matter the age – who has an interest in ghost stories. There is a particular scene that left me more horror-stricken than anything I’ve read in a long time, and I don’t get spooked often while reading!

Have you read this amazing book? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments section below. Now is the perfect time to give it a chance whether you were hesitant before or only just hearing about it! There is a movie for it currently in development – although it has yet to get a release date.


Visit Jonathan Stroud's website - Jonathan Stroud - the official site

Buy the book (Amazon) - The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. Book 1) - Kindle edition by Stroud, Jonathan. Children Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

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