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Publisher's Summary

Sally Lockhart, trying to put her troubled past behind her after her fiance's death, has settled into a comfortable life with her daughter, Harriet, her career, and her London friends. But her world comes crashing down around her when a complete stranger claims to be both her husband and Harriet's father, casting doubt on her spotless reputation. Seeking the answers to this terrible dilemma, Sally realizes with growing horror that there is a guiding hand behind all this deceit; someone who hates her so passionately that he has devoted years to bringing about her ruin. She has no choice but to escape with her child into the crime-ridden slums of London's East End. Suddenly it isn't only Sally's reputation that is in danger.
©1991 Philip Pullman; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group
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Critic Reviews

"The writing style is lively and direct, and there's lots of action. While Sally's story is for mature readers, it is never sordid or sensational. This is a suspense novel with a conscience, and a most enjoyable one." (School Library Journal)
"A suspenseful, textured mystery. Especially fine is his use of details, 19th-century London comes alive here. Remarkable, too, is the way Pullman interweaves subplots....Those who have enjoyed Sally's adventures before, as well as those new to the series, will find this a fascinating read, pulsing with life." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Charlie on 10-20-07

Dark, but compelling

This very well read (Anton Lesser) edition of the third of Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart trilogy is, like the other works in the series, rather darker than one quite expects, and not everyone or everything is better in the end. In other words, far more like real life than most. The story is compelling, the characters (mostly new in this book) are interesting and unexpected. The book can certainly be read standalone - there's really no requirement to read the earlier volumes - but some of the context is, obviously, lost.

This suspensefull and compelling novel is set in 19th century London, with a back drop of the pogroms in Eastern Europe and the non-entity of women. Sally is an independent financial advisor, with a child and no husband, who is thrust from her relatively privileged position into the East End. Her determination to survive, to protect her child and her reputation, and to overcome her enemy are mixed with the learning process of a privileged Londoner suddenly finding herself very much a part of the open sewer that was the East End. Where she makes new friends and unexpected allies in her fight.

Compelling listening, I found myself finding excuses to go on long drives so I could listen to this book. Highly recommended.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful


By Betsy on 09-26-08

good book - incredibly good narration

While I agree that this may not be Philip Pullman's best book, it was very entertaining - not one dull moment, non-stop action and fascinating characters. And, as with every audio book I've listened to that's narrated by Anton Lesser, I was dazzled by his skill. He really creates people out of thin air. He conjures up a two-year old girl as beautifully as an elderly man, and he really seems to become the people. When Lesser narrates he even distracts from minor plot holes. It's a joy to listen to the range of accents he masters.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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