Tiger in the well

The Tiger in the Well is the third book in the Sally Lockhart quartet by Philip Pullman. I think it's one of the best books in the series reuniting Sally with her old adversary, Ah Ling, from the first novel The Ruby in the Smoke.

All the books in this series are very much in the style of Wilkie Collins and Conan Doyle. Victorian London is atmospherically portrayed - you can almost taste the peasoup fog, and sniff the smells of Victorian London. Combined with clever storylines and a feisty heroine, they're thoroughly enjoyable escapist reads. Usually to be found in the teenage section of a bookshop or library, they're certainly not books for younger children often dealing with quite complex adult storylines - such as drug abuse, shady working practices, illegitimacy. They're great for their Victorian social history detail. This volume although set over a century ago also dealt with many issues that are entirely relevant for today - immigration and integration, politics, and womens' rights. The rise of socialism was well portrayed, and the basic adventure storyline beneath it was exciting and suspenseful. Definitely a book to enjoy - probably most enjoyable if you've already read the earlier books in the sequence - at least The ruby in the smoke in order to appreciate some of the characters and their motivations in this novel.


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