Saturday 14 October 2017

The Empty Grave ('Lockwood & Co' #5) by Jonathan Stroud   {Reviewed by STELLA}
If you are a reader of the 'Lockwood' series, you will understand the excitement and also the apprehension of reading The Empty Grave. Excitement because it is the fifth in the series and there is so much to find out. What were they up to on the Other Side? Why is ‘the problem’ getting worse? Will Lockwood, Lucy and George survive finding out? And who is Penelope Fittes, and what is she up to? And apprehension, because it’s the final 'Lockwood' book! And it's so good! If you haven’t read any of this series, it’s time to start with the Screaming Staircase immediately. The Empty Grave opens with our intrepid heroes in the final resting place of Marissa Fittes, the famous and supposedly dead ghost hunter. Unsurprisingly, a jaunt into the crypt doesn’t go exactly to plan, and things just get more dangerous from there on in. As the forces that police the ghost-hunting agents become more draconian in an attempt to stifle the truth, Lockwood & Co. become increasingly curious and determined to find out what is going on. The Fittes agency is on the offensive, the Orpheus Society more secretive, and someone wants Lockwood, Lucy and George eradicated. Whose empty grave awaits, and will this be the end of the road for our young agents? There are plenty of twists and turns in this last action-packed book, and also answers, some that may surprise you! Always a tricky thing, a final book to a wonderful series, but Jonathan Stroud expertly pulls it off. It has the classic intrigue, deceptions and scariness of the first four, as well as all the failings of our human team, their commitment to truth, and their determination to overcome the evil misdoings of others who are obsessed with the ghosts, the dangerous pull of the Other Side and the desire to manipulate life and death. Thrilling, frightening and altogether brilliant. 

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