The Spook's Secret by Joseph Delaney
As the weather gets colder, the Spook announces that it’s time to move to his winter house on Anglezarke – a bleak, forbidding place, close to the dark with a deep cellar full of bound witches and boggarts. Once there, Tom finds himself discovering more and more about his master’s past and the identity of a mysterious visitor who, it seems, is the Spook’s sworn enemy. Is the Spook’s past catching up with him? And how much danger will Tom be in if his master’s secrets are revealed?
The third book in Joseph Delaney’s Spook’s series. The first book was excellent, so too was the second – can Delaney keep it going or will the things begin to tail off? I began to read The Spook’s Secret the very same day that I finished The Spook’s Curse; this is a fine testament to the quality of the series, as I often like to take a break before once again continuing with a series.
First things first - the series does not tail off… it actually improves even further as Delaney takes our now beloved characters and moves then to a new location. And what a location it is! The Winter House is situated in Anglezarke; a bleak, forbidding place, close to the dark with a deep cellar full of bound witches and boggarts. The house itself is absolutely brilliant – it is as big underground as above; has fifteen fireplaces and some of the most dangerous creatures of the dark imaginable are kept there. There is something else special about the house but you will have to read it yourself to find out… This is how Thomas described the house when he first laid eyes on it:
The worst thing, though, was that it had no garden. As I said, the house was built right against the sheer rocky crag behind it; in front, five or six paces brought you to the edge of the stream, which wasn’t very wide but looked deep and very cold. Another thirty paces, crunching across the pebbles, and you’d be stubbing your big toe against the opposite rock face. That’s if you managed to get across the slippery stepping stones without falling in.
From: The Spook's Secret - Chapter 4: The Winter House
The Spook’s past life is once again explored, as the two women who shaped his life are local to Anglezarke. The Spook is a character that divides opinions; he is a compelling and intriguing character who can at times be heartless and unthinking. The Spook’s Secret explains much of what made John Gregory the man he is. It is has not been a quiet and simple life for the Spook…
‘But not half as sorry as me, lad,’ the Spook said gruffly. ‘She was a good woman, Emily. She had a hard life but always did her best. The world will be a poorer place now she’s gone! When the good die, it sometimes unshackles evil which would otherwise have been kept in check!’
From: The Spook's Secret - Chapter 6: A Nasty Piece Of Work
There are many Lancashire stories about boggarts. Joseph Delaney actually lives in boggart territory in Lancashire. Stalmine has (or had) a boggart known as the 'hall knocker', which was laid to rest under the step or threshold of a house near the church. The old name for Stalmine is Staumin, the place Tom takes Alice at the end of the first book. There are also other boggarts within a few miles - a hairy boggart at Wheeton, a horse boggart associated with Hackensall Hall near Knott End-on-Sea, and a tale about the Devil and the Schoolmaster of Cockerham.
Delaney has amazed me by writing a book that is even better than the two books - books that I already held as excellent. Never has a book been so difficult to put down and so enjoyable to read. If you haven’t read The Spook’s series, read it. It’s that simple.
“Ideal for the reader who has outgrown Harry Potter” The Times
This The Spook's Secret book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: The Wardstone Chronicles
The Spook's Tale
The Wardstone Chronicles
The Spook keeps the County safe from creatures of the dark; things that suck your blood and snatch your bones and squeeze the breath from your body. When young John Gregory...
The Spook's Stories: Witches
The Wardstone Chronicles
For years, the local Spook has been keeping the County safe from ghosts and boggarts, but more especially from witches. The Spook’s Stories: Witches features stories ...
I Am Grimalkin
The Wardstone Chronicles
'I am Grimalkin, and I have already chosen those I will kill…'Grimalkin has made it her lifetime ambition to destroy the Fiend, avenging the brutal mu...
The Spook's Apprentice
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 1
Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and has been apprenticed to the local Spook. The job is hard, the spook is distant and many apprentices have failed before h...
The Spook's Blood
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 10
Having bound the Fiend's spirit temporarily, Tom now has to come up with a permanent solution - and quickly. But the forces of the dark are now throwing everything they...
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 11
Slither is a haizda mage who preys upon humans, drinking their blood to feed his dark urges. So when a local farmer dies, it's only natural that Slither should want to ...
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 12
A lot of dark stuff happened when I was young that I’ve never even told to my dearest friend, Tom Ward. Dark and scary things I hoped I had left behind forever......
The Spook's Curse
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 2
The Spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward, have travelled to Priestown to defeat the Bane, a powerful, evil creature that lurks in the catacombs of the cathedral and is cor...
The Spook's Secret
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 3
As the weather gets colder, the Spook announces that it’s time to move to his winter house on Anglezarke – a bleak, forbidding place, close to the dark with a d...
The Spook's Battle
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 4
In Pendle the witches are rising and the three most powerful witch clans are rumoured to be uniting in order to conjure an unimaginable evil. Together they will be capable ...
The Spook's Mistake
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 5
As danger increases in the Country, Tom is sent north by his master to be trained by Bill Arkwright, another spook. Arkwright lives in a haunted mill on the edge if a treac...
The Spook's Sacrifice
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 6
As the Spook’s apprentice, Tom’s first duty is to protect the County from the dark. But now Mam needs his help in her homeland of Greece. One of the most danger...
The Spook's Nightmare
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 7
The Spook, Tom and Alice return from Greece to find the County under siege - and the Spook's home is burnt to the ground. With his precious library of knowledge destroy...
The Spookâ€™s Destiny
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 8
The Spook, Tom and Alice travel to Ireland, fleeing from the war in the County. There, Tom must tackle a group of evil mages who are desperate to rid their land of the Spoo...
Have you read The Spook's Secret?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Spook's Secret reader reviews
Luke from Measham
I can't explain how much I enjoyed this book about a boy and his master. As soon as I read The Spook's Curse I had to read this one and I bought it the same day as I finished the second. Unfortunately I cannot tell you what happens in the book so you will just have to read it and find out!
Rebecca from Watford
It was cool but they had no garden. Who could live without a garden?
9.7/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
When Hagurosan is told to take an offering to the shrine, he reluctantly begins his trek up the mountain. But when he gets hungry and eats the cake meant for the spirits, t...
Chronicles of Ancient Darkness
Thousands of years ago the land is one dark forest. Its people are hunter-gatherers. They know every tree and herb and they know how to survive in a time of enchantment and...
The Feathered Man
Jeremy de Quidt
In a German town, long ago, lives a tooth-puller’s boy called Klaus. It isn’t Klaus’s fault that he sees his master steal a diamond from the mouth of a de...
The Story of Cirrus Flux
You shall help me find him still… there is nowhere for the boy to hide.” Orphan boy Cirrus Flux is being watched. Merciless rogues are conniving to steal the w...
August 1611. Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan - his beloved father and the crew lie slaughtered by ninja pirates. Rescued by the legendary sword master M...
The Golden Acorn
Jack Brenin's life changes the moment he finds a golden acorn lying in the grass. He gets caught up in an extraordinary magical adventure and enters a world he believed...
Michael Belmont and the Tomb of Anubis
Ethan Russell Erway
Michael Belmont has always dreamed of leading a more adventurous life, but when it actually happens, he ends up getting more than he ever bargained for. Michael is sent to ...
Ursula Le Guin
Orrec, the son of the Brantor of Caspromant, and Gry, daughter of the Brantors of Barre and Rodd, have grown up together, running half-wild across the Uplands. The people t...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
The Silver Mask
The gods and goddesses are dead, killed two hundred years ago. With their destruction the moon split apart, the sun dwindled and the land was devastated. Civilisation has re-e...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there’s a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...