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Shadow in the Plate [Paperback]

Philip Pullman
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $11.69  
Paperback, June 1986 --  
Mass Market Paperback --  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged CDN $46.00  

Book Description

June 1986
This thrilling sequel to `The Ruby in the Smoke' provides another taut atmospheric chase through the hurly burly of Victorian England.


Product Details


Product Description

From Amazon

Six years after solving the mysteries surrounding the death of her father (in The Ruby in the Smoke), Sally Lockhart has set up her own consulting business. But her photographer friend, Fred Garland, has a habit of drawing her into his private detective work owing to her skill in both finances and firearms. When one of Sally's clients loses a large sum of money invested in a shipping firm and Fred encounters a conjurer on the lam from underworld thugs, the two begin to find links in these apparently disparate cases.

Exquisitely written and packed with a wonderfully diverse, often terrifying cast of characters and dark twists and turns of plot, the second installment of the Sally Lockhart trilogy--an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Booklist Editors' Choice, and a nominee for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Mystery--is entirely impossible to put down. Make sure book 3, The Tiger in the Well, is close at hand as you near the end of this one. (Ages 12 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Readers first met the intelligent, inquisitive and independent Sally Lockhart in The Ruby in the Smoke. Now comes this second brilliant bauble, perhaps more foreboding and terrifying than the first, thanks to Pullman's care in creating lively, superheroic characters and then, just as heroically, killing them off. Six years after the close of the first book, Sallynow 22 and still galloping over Victorian conventionsis embroiled in high-level business and government fraud; lest this sound dry, there is also a secret weapon ("the shadow" of the title) under development north of London that, in this setting, is as threatening as a nuclear arsenal. The mystery has many more tangled elements than the first tale, but they are all untangled and quite elegantly tied up; readers will weep at the deeds of true villainy and smile through their tears at the close, as they are offered Sally's radiant look to the future, to unfold in a promised final volume of the trilogy. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Warning: Spoiler Review by Disgruntled Reader Feb. 9 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Why on earth does Mr. Pullman continue to labor under the misapprehension that he writes children's books?
This book, like everything else by the same author, suffers from egregious logic lapses. In this case it's that a weapon "too terrible to be used" would be a gun that ran on railroad tracks, since it could be used by a government against its own population. This, of course, would only work in a country where the population was too dumb to think of blowing up the railroad tracks.
Two of the main characters from _Ruby in the Smoke_, the preceding book, are missing without a trace and they never get mentioned. It's as if the author had broken up with them and didn't want to talk about it. The connection to the preceding book is tenuous, not to say non-existent.
Aside from the graphic sex which is probably acceptable in children's books these days, and the fact that all of the characters are adults and that much of the plot hinges on financial and stock market concerns, the main character loses her dog and her fiance in graphic violence. I guess that sort of thing doesn't upset most child readers, but it sure isn't my idea of fun. I really wish I'd spent the time I spent reading this book reading something else.
I guess the intention of the books is to mirror the "penny dreadfuls" that one of the characters is always reading. Well, the book costs more than a penny, but other than that I'd say it was a success.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sally Lockhart is a heroine for all seasons. She considers herself a feminist although she does nothing else for the cause except ignore the sentiment that women only exhibit "susceptibility to the vapors". She's now 22 years old and able to find a sufficient client base of women who need Sally's ability to provide financial consultation.
Sally's friend Jim is back in the book which is good since he's the best developed male in all three books. How can you not like someone as verbally prolific as Jim who describes the case (and the book itself) as "There's fraud, there's financial jiggery-pokery, there's spiritualistic humbug, there's all kinds of wickedness, maybe worse." Later when Sally gives him a sisterly kiss, he remarks "That's better than a whisticaster in the rattlers (a smack in the gob)".
Sally's still friends with the Garlands, who own a photographic studio and detective agency. Fred Garland develops into a love interest.
One day, a retired school teacher tells Sally that her advice for the teacher to invest in a company has had disastrous results. I had to wonder if they had heard of diversification in those days since the teacher had "put all her eggs in one basket". I was also surprised Sally didn't know the company had gone bankrupt, but those are minor points. Sally resolves to look into the matter. Her investigations bring her threats and dastardly deeds from the owner of the bankkrupt company. It develops that her investigation has links to one Fred Garland has ongoing involving a weasel like magician and other mediums who are necessary to provide enough clues to lead the intrepid investigators in the right direction.
The clues are too convenient, the bad guys aren't too belivable, the plot twists a bit too contrived, but it doesn't matter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A polemic as cold and slippery as ice Jan. 18 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Pullman has a rare and valuable talent: his chosen field is the young adult novel, and he writes for young adults. Frankly, without condescension, and with a lively intelligence and subtle humor that shows he respects his audience as much as they (indubitably do) respect him. This novel shows a young woman in full command of her faculties being put into the teeth of an excruciating moral predicament, and if the road she eventually finds out of it is a simple one, that is because Pullman is not above granting a final bit of wish-fulfillment after he's run us through the wringer.
I'll leave the plot summaries to other reviewers; it's enough to say that it's a lively and political mystery / thriller and its coincidences, while implausible, do not betray their own internal logic. Pullman is first and foremost an observer of character, and what makes this book something that makes me, a 29-year-old guy who tends to read much more austere stuff, take notice, is the sheer aliveness of the characters. There's Sally, of course, a resolutely feminist young woman whose resolve and determination are surely of her time, even if some of her anxieties and dilemmas seem more resonant with the present than Victorian England; Frederick, her friend and peer who she loves, and with whom she argues helplessly and often; Jim, their young, streetwise friend, who is capable, brave, and eminently self-aware; and a large cast of supporting characters, many of them women, who are sharply limned and full of their own stories. The fact that Sally is living out what would have been, at best,a Victorian woman's fantasy is dealt with elsewhere; the fact that huge swathes of the dialogue is anachronistic is irrelevant.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book in the Sally Lockhart Trilogy and totally wonderful.
The story follows Sally some years later after The Ruby in the Smoke, now a financial consultant with her own company.
One of Sally's clients come to her one day, losing a large sum of money that her brother left her, due to the collapse of a company she invested in. Sally, of course, is totally outraged, and sets out to investigate the cause of this collapse and get her client back the money.
Following this, a complicated plot of twists and turns come up, involving a very troubled "magician," Mackinnon, who is being followed around by men, attempting to murder him after he witnessed a murder through his psychic powers, the powerful man, Mr. Bellman, who is suspected by Sally to have made the company collapse and is attempting to kill Mackinnon, with more new characters including Lady Mary, Nellie Bly, Isabel Meredith, Lord Wyneth, and old characters including Fred and Jim - all twisted into this mystery and the new invention of a Steam Gun.
This book is a two thumbs up thriller and totally heart-wrenching (I'm not saying anything, but I was practically crying at the end). It was tragic and excellent. I loved it!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Shadow in the North
Philip Pullman shows us his incredible abiltity to weave a fantastic mystery once again in the Shadow in the North. Read more
Published on June 9 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you hanging till the last minute.
If you enjoyed A Ruby in the Smoke you will love the sequel, Shadow in the North. Philip Pullman again uses his extraordinary ability to write mystery books. Read more
Published on April 22 2002 by Amanda from Illinois
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
... Philip Pullman is probably THE best male author I have ever read, and this series is one of my favorites. Read more
Published on April 18 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Blooming Excellent
I really enjoyed the whole trilogy, but this was definately the best!
The story was really well thought out and written in a pleasing tone. Read more
Published on April 15 2002 by Barley (17 years)
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad yet exciting
In the second book of this wonderful triolgy Sally Lockhart has set out to retrieve a large sum of money one of her clients has lost. Read more
Published on March 8 2002 by Chole
5.0 out of 5 stars The Shadow is coming...
This book was really good but the ending could have used a little work. It was not as good as the Ruby in the Smoke but if you read that you have to read this book. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2002 by bookwrmlin@aol.com
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good book
I really liked this book and would reccomend it to anyone who likes a mystery or a triller. Sally Lockhart is one of the most interesting characters I have ever read. Read more
Published on Aug. 30 2001 by sehrish ranjha
5.0 out of 5 stars Continuing mystery and suspense
The Shadow in the North follows on from Philip Pullman's 'The Ruby in The Smoke'. Sally Lockhard is no longer 16, she's a young, fiercly independent woman with a mystery to... Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2001 by F. G. Hamer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
No matter how many times I re-read Shadow in the North, I will never lose the infatuation of happiness (no, it really is much more of a contentment than happiness) it granted me. Read more
Published on July 31 2001 by Natalia
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