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Summary

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in....

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood.

When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again....

©2013 Jonathan Stroud (P)2013 Random House AudioGo

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good scary fun

I've been reading supernatural fiction for many years and am delighted to come across high-quality examples of the genre for young people. This one piles on the atmosphere and tension and makes judicious use of gore - there is just enough - while presenting a world in which ghost-fog, death-lights and aggressive type-two ghosts are part of every day life. The tone of normality heightens the terror and makes for a very good listen.

It's also very funny and this is partly down to Amanda Raisin's flair for voices. She's very good with people who aren't like her, whether they are truculent teenage boys or nasty old men. I always knew when George was talking and he's hilarious. I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens to him in the next book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KC
  • 10-01-16

Amazing!

My best friend and I (in our twenties) listened to this over as series of weekends. The story was gripping, the characters were wonderfully written, and the world was immersive. Miranda Rasion's highly talented performance brought each character to life, we hung on her every word. A powerful, yet eerie and thrilling tale. The writing of Johnathan Stroud, and the voice of Miranda Raison make a powerful team.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • GMac
  • London
  • 26-01-14

Excellent Story - Excellent Narration

Where does The Screaming Staircase rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I downloaded this book this morning intending to listen to it while away on holiday but I made the mistake of listening to it for a few minutes and ended up finishing it within the day.Miranda Raison's narration was first class from start to finish and I hope she will be the narrator of all future books in this series.

What other book might you compare The Screaming Staircase to, and why?

The Screaming Staircase compares very well to the books of Neil Gaiman in particular Graveyard.

Which character – as performed by Miranda Raison – was your favourite?

The story centers on Lucy Carlyle and she can't fail to be a favourite but Ms Raison voiced all of the characters, male as well as female, so perfectly that her performance brought all of the major players to life.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It did not make me cry or laugh but it did make me feel concern for the well being of the entire team of Lockwood and Co and frequently brought a smile to my face.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Utterly brilliant

Would you listen to The Screaming Staircase again? Why?

Yes! Here is my full review -This book pretty much blew my socks off - not just because I loved it so much but also as we listened to the audio version (brilliantly read by the way) in the car whilst on holiday. Never before have the kids asked to go on a journey!! The children (7 (she was possibly a touch too young for this), 9 and 12) were so excited between each listen, talking about it, going over sections and jokes and even my husband (who's not an audio fan) thoroughly enjoyed it. Just for that sheer fact it's got to be one of the best books I've read this year, it was so lovely to have the book as a family event that we could all share and enjoy.

So onto the story itself - it started out with a bang, full on action. Lucy lives in an alternate London where ghosts have become powerful enough to kill with one touch and the catch being that only children have the ability to see and therefore fight and control them. A brilliantly thought out and executed world, where children have to grow up fast and nothing seemed unbelievable. The ghosts were suitably chilling - no white sheets to be seen here, this was scary stuff and I found myself shivering more than once. The mystery of Annabell Ward was perhaps not the most difficult to solve as a reader but the background and how we got there was gripping and the scenes in Coombe Cary Hall (sorry spelling - this was audio) were at times terrifying. However brilliant the story was though, the characters truly stole the whole show. Lucy, George and Lockwood - Lockwood and Co. - they were a truly entertaining and heart warming bunch of children/young teenagers who manage quite capably on their own thank you very much, no adult supervision needed. And no surprise when children are the natural defence to the Country's 'Problem' - they have to work fast, efficiently and under great pressure or be killed and with that comes the ability to survive no matter the cost.

I clicked buy on the next book, The Whispering Skull, the second we had finished this, what more of a recommendation can I make? My love of children's books continues.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved all three main characters equally, they all brought something important and irreplaceable to the story

What about Miranda Raison’s performance did you like?

This was one of the best performances I have listened to recently and the different characters were brilliantly done, George in particular.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent supernatural story for the young (and old!)

I thoroughly enjoyed this listen. A good story from beginning to end. Well narrated and good characterisation with just the right amount of supernatural scariness. I can understand why this series is aimed at young people. I'm in my late sixties but why should they get all the fun?! Can't wait to hear the next in series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly good ghost detective story

Bought this off the strength of the authors Bartimeus books, and really glad I did. This is a story of 3 young ghost hunters trying to keep their business afloat against the big corporations. Don't want to spoil anything though, so shall say no more except the pace is good, the premise is well fleshed out, the characters believable and the ghosts thrilling. Would give this a 12 rating, but well read younger children may be fine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

teenage fantasy that works for adults

engaging narration and a fun good story. if you like Artemis Fowl you'll like this. I will be getting the next book in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A fantastic mystery

I really enjoyed this fantastic book. It's a bit too scary for anyone under 10 and it's well worth reading if your a grown up kid like me. Jonathan Stroud is a great author and the narrator was good too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good

Was prerty good. Was nice to have something to listen to on the bus and at lunch.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great ghost story

It's been a long time since I've read a good ghost story. I was fed up with the cheesy, repetitive nature of other novels. This book has a unique twist on traditional ghost myths. It is also well written with characters you like and get involved with quickly / for the duration of the story.

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  • Paul
  • 11-09-13

Easy to get into can't wait for the next book.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Screaming Staircase to be better than the print version?

Have not read the printed version

What other book might you compare The Screaming Staircase to and why?

The Amulet of Samarkand. That book was easy to listen to and the characters were well formed and easy to digest. It was pure entertainment and very satisfying.

Which character – as performed by Miranda Raison – was your favorite?

Lucy Clarkson. She was natural and believable more so than Lockwood who was a distilation of Sherlock Holmes.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

Well formed apart from the abiguous age of the protagonists. We are told they are young but they interact and comport themselves far above their age. Then we are treated to some scenes with a party and gluttonous comsuption of fizzy drink and donuts to convince us that they are immature. These odd moments smack of Boys own or Biggles stories (took me back to when I was a kid... in the 60's). This issue aside I can reccomend this as great entertainment and I forgive this little speed bump in the hope that as the characters are fleshed out more in future books, they will gain in strength. As a series this has great potential and the universe and setting is engaging and well thought out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amina Garraway
  • 13-11-17

you get pulled in

I bought this book just to pass sometime . i got so attached the characters ! it had me wanting more. cool take on ghostbusting. AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Toby Walker
  • 29-05-16

EPIC IDEA AND AMAZING STORY! Wonderful reader too!

I loved the idea, and it was executed beautifully ^-^ great book for those who like a cool idea and fun story, not really scary, but can be creepy and have you on edge :P

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Binay
  • 27-12-15

It could have been great

I liked the premise in the which the story is set but the core story was predictable. Also two things annoyed me a bit during the story a) small fights among the three key characters during intense scenes and b) the three main leads ( especially the girl ) very conveniently forget to share important details of the case with each other. I am fan of the Bartimeaus series and found the first instalment of Lockwood and co as a bit of let down.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • ciorstan
  • 30-10-14

Great spooky teens book

This book is a favourite of my teenage son and daughter. Funny, decent main characters (teens) great spooky atmosphere and witty dialogue.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joki
  • 28-09-14

Excellent - For Adults and Kids

Lockwood and Co is a rare animal: a thoroughly enjoyable middle grade story that has the depth and interest to appeal to all ages, especially adults. Characters are nuanced, the plot intriguing, mysteries build upon mysteries, and there is an overall story arc that will take several books to slowly uncover. I was never interested in supernatural/ghost stories but this really does rise above the genre.

Story: For 50 years, ghosts have been a problem for England. Only the young can see/sense/fight them but the spectral visitors are returning in numbers - creating "The Problem" for modern England. Young Lucy is especially talented but an unfortunate incident has left her with no means of employment. She comes to Lockwood & Co hoping for a job fighting ghosts - but will get much more than she bargained for at the small agency.

I really appreciated that there was layer upon layer of intricacies within the plot. The whole supernatural situation is well constructed and the worldbuilding supreme. Imagine a Dickensian type of London but in a modern setting and you have a good idea of the setting. But in addition to the book-specific mystery that they solve (the Screaming Staircase), there are hints that each of the other characters have their own mysteries and skeletons in the closet. That means we have more than a 'monster of the week' plot and even more reason to anxiously await the next book. The hints are tantalizing and the books end with a very big reveal.

I've read the first two books in the series and they are both excellent - the foundation of the first book sets up more intrigue in the second. Characters are built upon from book to book and even side characters (rival agencies, government officials, etc.) are given depth and grow.

This was one of my favorite reads of the year. Note: I listened to the audible version and the narration was excellent.