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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.

Don't miss any of the Sally Lockhart mysteries.
©1991 Philip Pullman; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Charlie
  • Madeira Park, BC, Canada
  • 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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Betsy
  • Austin, TX, USA
  • 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kirill
  • Oetwil Am See, Switzerland
  • 04-06-11

Excellent narration, a bit lacking plot

Positive things first: Anton Lesser is a wonderful narrator, he is one of my absolute favorites on Audible and would be reason alone to get this book.

I am not very impressed with plot though, somehow it has less thrill, less color and mood then first and second books, it is very predictable and it gets to the point of being really annoying to hear about a "Mystery" which is really none for hours and hours. Secondly, it is really heavy on socialism. This is a bit personal but I grew up in country with "advanced socialism" and I know how it looks and feels, how the system punishes any kind of initiative and forces everyone to be "equal" if they like it or not. While I understand how it arose among injustice of 19th century, it still represents a red flag to me because I know what it leads to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Propaganda at the expense of character and plot

The first two books in the trilogy were enjoyable. This is a very poor third. Much of the appeal of the earlier books lies in the character of Sally, who is independent, resourceful, and clever. In this book, however, Sally is faced with a grave personal crisis and instead of trying to help herself, leaves matters in the hands of a condescending do-nothing when it is glaringly obvious to both the reader and Sally that his course of action is going to plunge Sally further into disaster. After her spineless inaction has placed Sally in the necessary jeopardy, Sally's character is permitted to be less inert. Unfortunately, this is when the socialist propaganda takes over. At the culmination of the book, Sally makes an impassioned speech proclaiming that the villain is not evil -- it is the owners of the means of production, and the lawyers and doctors and bishops, who are Truly Evil. Sally's oration comes not long after another character has declaimed on the unfairness of making negative judgments about groups of people rather than considering them as individuals. Pullman either fails to note the inconsistency of the positions his characters advocate, or intends to send the message that persons lower on the socioeconomic scale must be treated fairly as individuals, but that persons with property or authority may be demonized en masse. The story does not compensate for the sermonizing. As noted by other reviewers, any half-awake reader will have figured out who the villain is many frustrating chapters before Sally works it out.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

not up to snuff

Overall this trilogy is interesting, but definitely not Phillip Pullman's best work. This final book in the trilogy is extremely predictable - as if we didn't know who Sally Lockhart's biggest enemy was after reading the first two books in the series. I'm not a practiced mystery reader, but there were no surprises, not even the final methods of escape and redemption. In addition, the entire first half of the book is a seemingly endless tale of unfairness and suffering, which gets old very fast. The narration is fantastic, though, which is why I gave it 3 stars. I guess I would find it hard not to buy the final book of a trilogy, but be forewarned that it's pretty disappointing.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Shadow in the north is the best of the trilogy

Book of dust was incredible, from a different Pullman universe, but incredible. Shadow in the north, this books predecessor and the second in the Lockheart trilogy, was also incredible. This one is not as good. All the same elements and same type of story--and still a very good story at that--or not as good as SITN. Or book of dust which was--again, a very similar type of story--but from the lyra/his dark materials trilogy. But those two are awesome. Also, if you haven't, do check out Pullman's short story "clockwork". a masterpiece of the genre.

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Sally Lockhart

What a wonderful trilogy this was......Phillip Pullman is the best ever story teller. I can't wait to begin another one of his books.

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  • Denise
  • Winston Salem, NC
  • 07-18-15

Wonderful series

Sometimes dark and stressful but worth listening to all three books. Great stories and perfect narrator. Can't think of a better match.

  • Overall
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  • Story

Good, but frequently distressing!

Story and writing is still good, but it is hard for me to listen to the parts about children in danger or suffering.

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  • Mary
  • Nashville, TN, United States
  • 01-13-15

Love This Series

What made the experience of listening to The Tiger in the Well the most enjoyable?

The fantastic reader, Anton Lesser.

Who was your favorite character and why?

No favorites, all the young heroes have wonderful personal charms.

What does Anton Lesser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He adds emotion and realism to what is sometimes a difficult or not-so-great passage.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I loved how seriously the young hooligans took their job of rescuing and taking care of Sally's young daughter. It was so touching how each one made her feel safe.

Any additional comments?

Yes. I NEED BOOK FOUR IN AUDIO! AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, PLEASE! :)