This is the first Sally Lockhart story that I have read, and it probably won't be the last.
In the beginning, it was difficult for me to believe in the strength and forthrightness of this sixteen year old. She shows maturity well beyond her years. However, the more that I followed Sally around the streets of London, the more convincing she was, and the more that I lived her dangerous adventures alongside her.
There are some very kind and generous characters in this book, and they form strong alliances with Sally to eventually get to the truth behind the mysteries surrounding the death of her sea-faring father. There are also some very dark and frightening characters, not least the daunting and evil Mrs Holland.
It is interesting to read about the practicalities of early commercial photography, and about the London of over a century ago, although some things haven't changed!
Throughout the book, Pullman maintains an air of tension and keeps events moving along at a fast pace. There are a lot of violent deaths splattered throughout the book, but they just add to the fear factor.
Sally is such a resourceful and intelligent young lady. She sometimes survices by the skin of her teeth, but that is due to a combination of her own wits and the assistance of her good friends.
A great adventure and a terrific ending!