Review: Lockwood & Co. 4: The Creeping Shadow

the_creeping_shadow_ukBy Jonathan Stroud

Penguin, out now

Lucy’s help is needed…

In the fourth book following our friendly neighbourhood ghost-hunters, Lucy is still flying solo after reluctantly leaving Lockwood & Co. psychic investigation agency, following a horrifying vision of a possible future. That is, until Lockwood himself knocks on her door, asking for her help with a particularly trying case. The paranormal epidemic besieging the country has every agency, big or small, rushed off their feet, with Spectres, Wraiths and Raw-bones pouring out of dingy alleyways and cosy homes alike. One case leads to another, as Lucy is gradually absorbed into a prestigious conspiracy that terrifies as much as it intrigues. Lives are at stake, and the valiant crew of Lockwood & Co. must battle undead cannibals, spectral messiahs and corporate businessmen to keep death firmly on its side of the veil.

Like its predecessors, The Creeping Shadow is an action-packed, sharp-witted romp through Stroud’s ingenious world of ghosts, ghouls and psychic detectives. The characters remain relatable, detailed and dashing, and yet as the series progresses we still discover fresh and thought-provoking sides of them that we’ve never been seen before. However, as the series draws perilously close to its final novel, the seemingly-unrelated threads of mystery from previous books are being weaved together into a haunting central enigma, perhaps the final challenge for Lockwood & Co.?

Verdict: Hilarious, gripping and truly chilling, The Creeping Shadow artfully sets the stage for the doubtlessly unforgettable finale to come. 9/10

Sophie Simpson

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