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The Tiger in the Well (Sally Lockhart #3)

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,822 Ratings  ·  344 Reviews
In London in 1881, twenty-four-year-old Sally finds her young daughter and her possessions assailed by an unknown enemy, while a shadowy figure known as the Tzaddik involves her in his plot to defraud and exploit the hordes of Jewish immigrants pouring into the country.
Audio Cassette
Published November 17th 2003 by BBC Audio (Cover to Cover) (first published October 1st 1990)
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The publisher's blurb on the back of my edition of TTITW reads "THE PLOT GRIPS LIKE A DROWNING MAN AND DRAGS THE READER DEEP INTO THE SEWERS OF VICTORIAN VILLAINY." Yes. That is exactly what the plot is like/does. I would add only: "IT'S REALLY FUN TO READ AHH!"

Pullman always hero-worships his protagonists a bit, but he writes such compelling ones it's impossible to blame him. Take Sally Lockhart, our heroine: She pulls off unwed motherhood in Victorian London like it ain't no thang. She runs h
The Book Queen
Aug 14, 2015 The Book Queen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This looks terrifying, but I still gotta read it.

It was terrifying. But it was also very good, like the rest of this series, and basically everything Phillip Pullman writes is fabulous. I was so scared at many points and empathised so much with Sally. I can't imagine how awful it would be, to have some hidden enemy know everything about you and always be one step ahead of you. I did guess the villain, mostly because of (view spoiler)
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Sofía Aguerre
Antes que nada, debo admitir que con esta saga hice todo mal. Sabía de su existencia desde hacía años, pero no tenía mucha idea, tan solo me llamaban la atención. Un verano, compré uno en oferta. Con mi suerte de siempre, resultó ser el cuarto (La princesa de hojalata). Con mi suerte de siempre, resultó ser el único que no trata de Sally, sino de otros personajes secundarios. Lo disfruté mucho.
Este año, encontré otro, también en oferta. Con mi suerte de siempre, resultó ser el tercero —al menos
I think this is my favorite in the Sally Lockhart series so far, I can't say enough about how wonderful Anton Lesser is as the reader.
He's amazing and his voices add so much to the story as a whole that once I started with the first audio book 'The Ruby in the Smoke' I no longer considered reading the books, it just wouldn't be the same.

So frugal as I am and consummate library patron that I am, I had to buy the audio book of 'The Tiger in the Well' because none of the libraries in my area (or
D.L. Morrese
Sep 14, 2012 D.L. Morrese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sally Lockhart is a rare woman in Victorian England. She’s a single mother, competent, independent, and a successful and prosperous business owner. She has never been married, so when she is served with divorce papers, she cannot understand how such a mistake could be made. It soon becomes clear it is not a mistake. The details about her in the document are correct -- all except one. She has never met the man claiming to be her husband, the man who wants to take custody of her daughter.
I would n
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Feb 12, 2012 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meeehhhhh, Sally's second book was good, and this one...was not.

Okay, I was still digging the setting of Victorian London. Sally, I was just at the Assyrian exhibit at the British Museum! I walked along Fleet Street. I can totally picture every single place we were hanging out. But omigosh, I cannot tell you how frustrating every other part of this book was. One, Sally is back to annoying me. Two, everybody that I liked, like Jim, is not in the book (until the end, when he, of course, saves the
Jan 07, 2008 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third installment of the Sally Lockhart mysteries series is even more complex than the other two entries. It is also, unfortunately, a little too obvious, as I figured out the identity of the mysterious villain way before Sally did. And if I figured it out, everyone figured it out.

No matter, though, because Pullman still spins a decent yarn. It's about 2 years since we last saw Sally, and she is now raising Harriet, the daughter she conceived with Frederick right before he died. All seems to
Apr 28, 2013 Abby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read. I would have given it five stars, but unfortunately Pullman wavers a bit towards the end of the book and overstates the socialism message in two of the last scenes. The socialism subplot is otherwise masterfully handled and lends intellectual depth to this mystery; it's a shame Pullman had to doubt his own powers of writing and slam us over the head with the socialism message in those two scenes.

But other than that misstep, a terrific book - riveting, multilayered, and one of those
I love Sally Lockheart and blew through all these books when I was younger but Tiger in the Well is a bit different than the first two. It was Ok but not fantastic. The plot and mystery and Pullman contributing his own political ideas into the series keeps this one likable and interesting but it just feels like it's missing some of the charisma of the first two books possibly because it takes place so long after them.

If you already read and like the Sally Lockheart books then this one is along t
Dec 23, 2008 Blaire rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, young-adult
This is the 3rd in the series that I've read. I liked the first two quite a bit, but I found this one very hard to get through. I think it's because the story is short on charm and long on political viewpoint. That's not what I was looking for in a YA novel. I also found some of the aspects of the bad guys pretty nauseating. I forced myself to finish it because I knew that once I put it down I'd never pick it up again. Too bad - Pullman had a good series going.
Sep 26, 2015 Trina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A magnificent woman! That is how one character describes Sally Lockhart. And she is. She is far ahead of the pack of Victorian lasses with their smelling salts and corsets. Pullman makes her entirely believable. The same cannot be said for her baby girl Harriet. If only Pullman had made her just one year older, then I'd have gone along with her wonderfully willful and curiously adaptable character. Even a 'young adult reader' with any babysitting experience will recognize that 2-yr.-olds don't r ...more
Renata Limón
Aug 28, 2014 Renata Limón rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Socialism on the London docks for young adults
Mary-Jean Harris
WOW. Another simply amazing book by Philip Pullman! As the third installment of the Sally Lockhart mysteries, it really takes the adventure to a new level. Each story branches out more and more into the world of the late 1800s: this one focused on the pogroms where the Jews were fleeing from Russia, as well as the emerging socialist groups in England. We not only follow Sally, but also many other POV characters, which makes the story very interesting. The writing is superb: some review said Phil ...more
Jul 06, 2012 Lindsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Tiger in the Well" has been perhaps my favorite book thus far of the Sally Lockhart series. One of the best aspects of this series is that Sally continues to grow and change. In fact, the majority of characters, even minor ones, get a chance to develop as the story progresses. An interesting aspect of this book is Sally's reaction to the spreading of socialist ideas in England. This is where Pullman's politics start to come into play. His personal politics have a strong, identifiable influence ...more
Sally Lockhart is one of my role models. In this book she once again shows that strength of hers, her courage and her wit, but also her more vulnerable side. It's Sally driven into a corner, and my it's wonderful to see her try to fight her way out.

The Sally Lockhart series ranks highly on my favourite series list. Mr. Pullman is a master writer, and a genius when it comes to storylines: this book especially was so full of suspense that I just wanted to keep reading. Putting this book down was a
Jul 31, 2008 jess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2008
finally, i finish the trilogy of sally lockhart! our precocious girl heroine is a woman now, with a daughter, a flourishing business, a happy household, and a whole new tangled mess of problems. for me, this was the book where sally became a whole person. she has actual inadequacies! shortcomings! someone doesn't show up to save her at the last minute in improbable ways every time she's in trouble. she's a real adult, and this means that sometimes terrible things happen, there's no resolution, a ...more
May 28, 2013 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was a lot to like about this book, the set up was great, there was a lot of tension in the early stages, and the characters are all compelling. However, I felt it was rather overwritten, being far too long to maintain the urgency of the plot, and the villain was so obvious it was painful waiting for the protagonist, generally a very astute character, to catch up with the reader. Overall I felt the book really lacked subtlety - the deus ex machina was so frequently foreshadowed it might as ...more
Dec 02, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the longest and most intricate of the books. There are several things going on: Sally's persecution by a mysterious man, persecution of Jews emigrating from Russia and other eastern European countries into England, and the struggle of Socialists in Victorian England. These three books create a path of knowledge for Sally Lockhart. In the first, she is forced to fight for herself. In the second, she learns independence (both economic and personal.) She also becomes aware that evil is not ...more
Keita-Eiri Uesugi
Mar 01, 2013 Keita-Eiri Uesugi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely fantastic and wonderful to behold, and I'm not even kidding... this book is wonderful. Especially for those strong ladies out their, independent and fighters... yup, this book is for all of you because damn, it'll give you hope.

Okay, so it's not an epic work of fantasy like "His Dark Materials" but this series in its own right, is brilliant, full of action and emotion and I can't deny the love I know I feel for it and for Sally and her fight throughout.

However, all my other thoughts a
I'm still gobsmacked at the idea that this is a YA series. The themes explored in these novels - the opium trade, human trafficking, exploitation of immigrants, socialism, early feminism - don't seem like anything my kids would have read in their teen years! And my kids were pretty bright kids. That said, this is an amazing series I wish I could point it out to all the Steampunk folks - "Look, this is real Victorian era grittiness!" This volume, "The Tiger in the Well", was a compelling, and in ...more
Dane Cobain
Apr 21, 2016 Dane Cobain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Tiger in the Well is one of Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart novels, and I thought it was the strongest one behind The Ruby in the Smoke, where everything kicked off. Here, Sally has changed – she’s almost damaged, possibly slightly deranged, and ready to do anything that she needs to do to protect her daughter.

She’s also being sued for divorce, despite the fact that she isn’t even married, and she’s never even heard of the person who’s suing her. So as you can imagine, you’re along for a bum
The story is about a woman named Sally Lockhart who discovers that there is someone who is claiming to have been married to her and is asking the court for divorce. Following the divorce court case, Sally is obliged to hand over all her property and her daughter Harriet into the hands of a stranger. These claims were nothing more than an elaborate web of lies carefully constructed against Sally. This stranger's lies manages to fool the public, the law and almost even Sally herself, however she i ...more
Dec 07, 2015 Staara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book I came across in a charity shop by Phillip Pullman, after I'd finished His Dark Materials trilogy.

Although this was the third book in the series I read it without realising that two others came before this one-oh well!

I liked this book a lot, I liked the way Pullman describes parts of Victorian London, he has a great talent with words and the book comes alive through his prose.

I used to live in Whitechapel and some descriptions of nearby areas came alive to me when I was
Jan 06, 2015 MerryMeerkat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This volume is just as good as the first two. 5 stars. It is a particularly violent and bloody volume and once again Im glad its in black and white and not showing all the blood.

So much happens: (Spoilers!)

Turns out the prison isnt as abandoned as they thought. They find 4 people, prisoners not guards who have been holed up inside. The group tries to settle down and get situated. Rick goes off on his own (to dig up and shoot Shane again- not sure why). Lots of violence while Rick is gone. Hershe
Pierced Librarian
Sep 15, 2014 Pierced Librarian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves YA
Recommended to Pierced Librarian by: Me, as always a great choice
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
A bit longer and more dense than The Shadow in the North, but excellent all the same.

Sally has her own business, is living communally with her created family, has her daughter from Frederick (god rest his soul), and then her husband shows up. Well, he doesn't show up so much as serve her with divorce papers for being a trampy drunk who abandoned him and treats their servants like dirt.

Only Sally has no husband.

On top of that there are social inequities to dissolve: rioting, racism, anti-Semitism
My book for work. Of course I like these because of the feminism, but more importantly, because the characters are aware of how exceptional they are, and how lucky. There's no smug superiority in Sally about her freedom, no condescension to other women. Instead there's an awareness of what it costs her to live as she does. Too many contemporary writers give their Victorian characters modern sensibilities and freedoms without a cost. It was much more common for someone to be liberated in one way ...more
Bexa Blue
Feb 04, 2015 Bexa Blue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books
This one had me on edge nearly the whole time, even though I knew who the shadowy bad guy was the whole time. Poor Sally, having to run everywhere with her daughter - I felt almost too much empathy for her! It was nice to finally see her not floundering towards the end of the book when she finally got a plan together beyond just running from the police. Even when she isn't in control of her own situation though, this book in particular is very much a feminist narrative, commenting on the time pe ...more
Ray Campbell
Feb 28, 2014 Ray Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
The Tiger in the Well is the third in a series of books about an independent young British woman during the late 19th century. While this is the third, and it's nice to know the cast of central characters, this book stands alone nicely. Pullman doesn't spend a word playing catch up, but without reading the first two books, one would understand from context and references. So, such a good book that despite being the third in a series, it stands alone quite well.

It strikes me that Philip Pullman i
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Do you think that Sally should have married someone instead of Fred ? 8 29 Oct 24, 2012 03:26AM  
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In 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards ...more
More about Philip Pullman...

Other Books in the Series

Sally Lockhart (4 books)
  • The Ruby in the Smoke (Sally Lockhart, #1)
  • The Shadow in the North (Sally Lockhart, #2)
  • The Tin Princess (Sally Lockhart, #4)

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