The Screaming Staircase
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Blue_Penguin_187 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over
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It all began with The Problem. One day, for no apparent reason, the dead started to walk amongst the living. Not just walk, but really wreak some serious havoc. Here are the facts of the matter. 1. If you see a ghost, run. 2. Don’t let a ghost touch you, or you’re dead. 3. Only kids can see ghosts. What are we to make of these facts? Well, it’s no surprise when ghost-busting operations hiring children start cropping up. Enter Lockwood & Company. Run by the charming Anthony Lockwood alongside his two compatriots Lucy and George the ramshackle operation is barely scraping by. Enter a job that goes particularly wrong when the kids accidentally burn down their employers’ home, and it would take a miracle to save the agency. Fortunately, a miracle shows up in the form of a very rich and powerful man. He’s hiring the three to take on the most haunted house in all of Britain. The catch? No one’s ever gotten out of it alive. Will our intrepid heroes take on the job, or is there more at work here than meets the eye?
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Just because, a sample of Stroud's fluent, eloquent writing: "The caretaker was certainly very ancient, a tight and desiccated thing from which all softness and moisture had long since been extracted. Where Mr. Fairfax had been bullishly vigorous despite his age and infirmity, this man was more like the ash tree by the house: gnarled and twisted, but holding tenaciously to life. He had a shock of gray-white hair, and a narrow face that disintegrated, as he drew near, into a web of lines, a limestone surface with bumps and fissures. His clothes carried an air of somber correctness: he was dressed in an old-fashioned tail coat of dark black velvet, from the sleeves of which gray, liver-spotted fingers protruded. His striped pants were incredibly thin, his shoes as long and pointed as his nose."
“Of the first few hauntings I investigated with Lockwood & Co. I intend to say little, in part to protect the identity of the victims, in part because of the gruesome nature of the incidents, but mainly because, in a variety of ingenious ways, we succeeded in messing them all up.”
“In fact, it wasn’t at all an ugly hallway; in bright sunlight it might have looked quite pleasant. But not so much now, with the last light from the door panes stretching out like skewed coffins on the floor in front of us; and with our shadows neatly framed inside them..”
"With his glasses off, his eyes looked small and weak – blinky and a bit baffled, like an unintelligent sheep that’s taken a wrong turn. But when he put them on again, they went all sharp and steely, more like the eyes of an eagle that eats dumb sheep for breakfast.”