Lucy was separated from Lockwood, George, and Holly for a brief few months, but of course the team is quickly brought back together. Lucy is brought in as a consultant and then turns to the team when her life is threatened. Skull has an interesting role and non-role in the story. Lockwood is becoming reckless, George is experimenting, and Holly is trying to maintain order when Lucy comes back to the team. Kipps ends up leaving his agency and ends up joining forces with Lockwood & Co. but it is unclear if he joins the team permanently. The black market sales of relics is a booming business and Lucy’s Skull is stolen. This leads to an attack on Lucy’s life and her turning to her old team for help and protection. Lucy and Lockwood infiltrate the secret market to try and identify the big new buyer and get Skull back. After things go horribly wrong, Lockwood realizes that what seemed like strange outbreak in a far off town might be the best cover to figure out why the relics are not being destroyed as the agencies claim they are. The team, plus Kipps, make a trip to a town to help rid them of a strange outbreak and try and figure out what the Creeping Shadow is. During a raid of The Institute Lucy and Lockwood travel to the otherside and come back with more questions than answers. Skull drops a bombshell about who Penelope Fitts really is at the very end of the book, and leaves the reader eagerly awaiting the next book.
Character List/Book Summary:
Anthony Lockwood = asks Luce to join him and George as a freelancer for one of Penelope’s cases, declines her offer to join her agency, has become reckless since Lucy left, protects Luce when she is on the otherside with him. Decides to go against warns and investigate what he is told not to.
Lucy = Penelope has faith in her, knows Lockwood asked her back because Penelope asked him to, she is starting to become better in control of her talents (sight, listening, and touch), the Skull has become a friend and companion to Lucy during her time away from the team.
Emma Marchment = killer ghost, Lucy tries to make contact with her and is told “I still have it” Lucy takes her skull to the furnaces and thinks it is destroyed only to find out a day or two later is was sold on the black market for relics.
Saul Johnson = supervisor at Rotwell, and has a surprising other job Director of the Institute
George Cubbins = good at research, takes time to get over being upset Lucy left and came back, is starting to experiment with gadgets that are on the market (or discretely taken when visiting agencies).
Holly Munro = assistant at Lockwood & Co., starting to become a better field agent, comes to a friendly place with Holly
Marissa Fittes = founder of the Fittes agency, listener, Skull spoke to her once
Harold Mailer = attendant at Fittes Furnaces, worked there since he was 8, helps black marketers get goo relics, and warns Lucy about what is about to happen to her
Penelope Fittes = chairperson of the oldest, largest, and celebrated psychic detection organization, keeping an eye on Lockwood & Co., her mother died young, Skull reveals potentially ground shattering news about her
Inspector Montagu Barnes = DEPRAC deals with the Rotwell Incident, and protects young agents from both the abuse of agencies and unwanted/inappropriate attention from the news
Flo Bones = relic girl, acquaintance of Lucy and Lockwood, helps get them the location of the secret relic black market
Adelaide Winkman = Lockwood & Co. put her husband, Julius, in prison for selling relics, Flo sees her at the relicman meeting and she and her son, Leopold, are in the black market again
Quill Kipps = Fittes supervisor assigned to Lockwood & Co., joins the team after he leaves Fittes, knows how to use the Goggles that George has
Steve Rotwell = chairman of Rotwell agency, Holly had been his personal assistant, tells Lockwood & Co. to stay away from the Institute, fights Lockwood near the circle and ends up falling into the circle, disappears after the incident
Sir Rupert Gale = old friend of the Fittes Family, rouge and wealthy collector of illicit relics, warns Lockwood & Co. to stop investigating what the Institute and Fittes’ society are studying.