Soon after Sally Lockhart’s father drowns at sea, she receives an anonymous letter. The dire warning it contains makes a man die of fear at her feet. Determined to discover the truth about her father’s death, Sally is plunged into a terrifying mystery in the dark heart of Victorian London, at the centre of which lies a deadly blood-soaked jewel.
Having read the opening paragraph to this story with some students that I work with I was compelled to read more. The story of Sally Lockhart seemed both mysterious and dangerous; it sounded exciting and full of adventure and to be fair…it was full of adventure. However, for me after the initial first page thrill The Ruby in the Smoke started to drag.
I liked the characters in the story and I liked that Sally Lockhart joined a motley crew of friends who were all out to help save her; and indeed, Philip Pullman created some very ghastly villains but the story just fell flat with me. I was expecting a full on rollicking adventure and instead I found myself struggling to convince myself to turn the page.
It is not written poorly, the characters are fleshed out, the twists of the plot are very clever – The Ruby in the Smoke just wasn’t for me.
The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman is available now.