Read a full summary of Tunnel of Bones, book #2 of Victoria Schwab’s Cassidy Blake series, right here! This page is full of spoilers so beware. If you are wondering what happened in Tunnel of Bones, you are in the right place!
***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****
What happened in Tunnel of Bones?
Tunnel of Bones starts in the Paris Metro. Cassidy, her parents, her cat Grim, and her ghost best friend Jacob have just arrived in Paris after flying from Scotland. Her parents are there to film the second episode of their television series, The Inspecters. They are in Paris to discuss the history and ghosts at the Catacombs, the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Eiffel Tower, the Pont Marie Bridge, and the Cathedral at Notre-Dame.
The family (and Jacob) successfully navigate the subway and make their way to their hotel. Cassidy, still reeling from her ghostly experience in Edinburgh, worries about what to do with Jacob. Since Jacob can hear her thoughts, their relationship is a bit strained.
Cassidy’s parents ask Cassidy to take some behind-the-scenes photos while filming to keep her from wandering off again as she did in Scotland. Their first stop is the Tuileries, a palace garden her mother is certain is haunted. The palace was rebuilt after the original building burned down in 1871.
While they’re enjoying chocolate croissants, Cassidy feels the familiar tap of the Veil, and she excuses herself to use the restroom so she can hunt a ghost. She enters the Veil to find the palace on fire. A male ghost runs into her, knocking the mirrored pendant Lara gave her to the ground. The ghost attempts to grab her life thread, and she uses the lens of her camera to capture his reflection long enough to remove his thread and send him on. When Jacob gives her a high five, she can feel a faint pressure from him, and she worries she will need to reap him as Lara told her.
The following day, the family meets their guide Pauline and the film crew. She takes them to the Catacombs, which give Cassidy the creeps immediately. As she hears the history of the Catacombs from her father, she realizes she’s right to be afraid. The bones from millions of bodies make up the walls of the Catacombs, so there are sure to be plenty of ghosts.
While she’s underground, the Veil is constantly tapping Cassidy’s shoulder. She tries hard to resist crossing into it, knowing it will be filled with too many ghosts for her to handle. When she trips, she puts out a hand to catch herself on the wall, inadvertently opening the Veil and falling through. As Jacob follows her, they hear a young voice counting in French. Jacob convinces Cassidy to ignore the ghost, and they cross back.
After her parents finish filming, they go to a cafe across the street from the Catacombs for lunch. While Cassidy is eating her sandwich, she suddenly feels an intense chill—a sign of ghosts—and the awning above them tears free, the metal hook narrowly missing Cassidy.
At the next site, the Jardin du Luxembourg, Cassidy feels like someone is watching her, and a few times she thinks she sees someone out of the corner of her eye. The family moves on to the Eiffel Tower, then heads back to the hotel, but Cassidy can’t shake the feeling something has been off since the Catacombs.
Cassidy closes the door behind her, but a few minutes later, her mom reveals that Grim is missing. She blames Cassie for leaving the door open. Cassidy and Jacob find a spooked Grim in the salon later, but Cassidy has no idea what has upset him.
Cassidy video chats with Lara, who tells her the weird things that have been happening may be because she encountered a poltergeist, a ghost that feeds on chaos, in the Catacombs. The longer a poltergeist is outside the Veil, the stronger and more destructive it will become. That night, Cassidy dreams Jacob becomes a poltergeist.
The next morning, the family visits the Pere Lachaise cemetery. Unfortunately, Cassidy feels the poltergeist’s presence and enters the Veil with Jacob to find him. They hear the poltergeist counting slowly in French, but they can’t see him. Cassidy decides to create an opportunity for the poltergeist to make some trouble. She climbs onto the top of a crypt when the poltergeist appears. He’s a little boy, and his eyes burn red. Cassidy uses her mirror pendant to try and capture him so she can send him on, but it doesn’t work. Instead, the poltergeist shoves Cassidy off the roof of the crypt. Fortunately, Cassidy isn’t hurt. She calls Lara, who agrees to talk to her Uncle Weathershire, who lives in ghost form in her apartment.
Cassidy and Jacob return to the Metro with her parents and the film crew and take it to the Paris Opera House to film another segment. While they are there, Lara calls back with news about the poltergeist: If a poltergeist is not bound to the Veil, it’s because it doesn’t remember anything about its life, which means the mirror won’t work because the mirror forces the ghost to remember they’ve died. Thus, Cassidy now has to figure out which child died in the Catacombs and became the poltergeist, an almost impossible task. Cassidy feels a cold chill at the end of the call, and then the set on stage begins to fall toward her parents, who jump out of danger.
Cassidy needs time to figure out who the poltergeist is, so she gets permission to stay behind to watch a movie showing at the theater. Cassidy and Jacob make their way into the theater, wait long enough for her parents to leave, and then sneak back out. Cassidy crosses into the Veil to search for the poltergeist, and Jacob begrudgingly follows. While she feels the poltergeist is close, he doesn’t appear.
When she goes back through the Veil to the real world, chaos erupts: A swerving truck begins spilling boxes into the street, and a large mirror nearly hits Cassidy. Fortunately, Jacob pushes her out of the way. Unfortunately, the mirror has shattered, and Jacob accidentally looked at it. This means he should be trapped in his reflection. He tears himself free, however, which shows how strong he’s becoming.
Cassidy spies the poltergeist running away and chases after him into the Veil, where he leads them back to the Catacombs. As Cassidy’s timer rings to let her know her movie is almost over and her parents will be picking her up soon, she realizes even though the poltergeist may not remember his death, it must be related to the Catacombs somehow since he led them back there.
Cassidy and Jacob make it back to the movie theater with seconds to spare and return to the hotel with her parents. At the hotel, something is wrong: All the guests from their floor are standing in the lobby. According to the desk clerk, a sprinkler went off in their room, and she believes it was Grim. While they wait for their new (dry) room, Cassidy asks her father if anyone ever died in the Catacombs.
He tells the story of a boy named Thomas Alain Laurent, who disappeared in the Catacombs in 1912 while playing with his older brother. Cassidy is confident he’s the poltergeist. When Lara calls, she tells Cassidy to place sachets of sage and salt around their hotel to ward off strong spirits, which are so strong Jacob has to leave the apartment.
Cassidy can’t sleep that night. She’s worried about Jacob, especially since he pulled himself out of the mirror earlier. Is he turning into a poltergeist as well? Is he a threat, as Lara says? As soon as she falls asleep, she wakes up to a car alarm going off and hears a little boy counting in French. She sees him in the street, seeming to invite her to play with him before disappearing. Then she falls asleep and into another nightmare about Jacob wreaking havoc as a poltergeist.
When she wakes up, Lara calls to say she has found the descendants of Thomas’s older brother, and they still live in Paris. At breakfast, Cassidy asks if she can visit Sylvaine, Thomas’ brother’s granddaughter, for research. Pauline volunteers to take Cassidy so her parents can continue their film schedule for the day.
They are on the Metro when Cassidy feels a cold wind. The train stops, and the lights go out. Cassidy enters the veil and calls to Thomas. She hears him counting down the tunnel but can’t see him. She reaches out to him as an invitation, and he steps out of the darkness, touches the train, giggles, and disappears moments before the train begins to make noise. Cassidy and Jacob barely make it back on the train before it begins to move. When the train arrives at the station, trains are delayed or stopped, and Cassidy knows it’s the work of the poltergeist.
Pauline, Cassidy, and Jacob arrive at Sylvaine’s apartment. A young girl answers, and when Cassidy calls her Sylvaine, she calls for her mother. Cassidy asks Sylvaine about Thomas, but she refuses to speak to her, claiming the story is private. So Pauline, Cassidy, and Jacob meet Cassidy’s parents at the Pont Marie, where Jacob realizes someone is following them. It’s Adele, the girl who answered the door to Sylvaine’s apartment. Adele hands Cassidy some pictures of Thomas and invites herself along to the next filming location.
Everyone is walking to Notre-Dame when Cassidy narrowly avoids getting run over by a car. It seems all the traffic lights are stuck on green. Sirens are blaring across the city. The poltergeist is getting too dangerous. When Cassidy enters the Veil again, she and Jacob get into a fight. Jacob reveals he’s worried about turning into a poltergeist, but he doesn’t want to lose Cassidy’s friendship by telling her how he died.
The family and Jacob return to the hotel for their last night in Paris. Adele comes upstairs with them, and while Cassidy video chats with Lara, she reveals how Thomas died. He and his older brother Richard were playing hide-and-seek in the Catacombs, and he hid too well. The police organized a search and found him buried under bones in an alcove that had collapsed. Cassidy realizes Thomas does remember his life subconsciously: He’s still counting like he is playing hide-and-seek, and he lurks in the Catacombs where he died.
To get back to the Catacombs, Cassidy and Jacob decide to ruin the film from the Catacombs shoot and blame it on Grim. That night, the family returns to the Catacombs to reshoot those scenes. Cassidy and Jacob step through the Veil again, but they can’t find Thomas. They decide to play hide and seek to lure him out. When he appears, Cassidy tries to show him photographs of himself and his brother, but he won’t look at them. Instead, he raises the ghosts of the Catacombs.
As Cassidy is running away, she sees a ghost dressed in an outfit similar to Richard’s, Thomas’ brother. She grabs the clothes and puts them on Jacob and tells him to pretend to be Thomas’ brother while she hides on top of a wall of bones. It works, but right as Thomas is about to see Jacob, the wall gives way under Cassidy and crumbles, trapping her on the other side of it. She tries to climb back over it, but it doesn’t work. She has to push her way through the pile of bones. Jacob says, “C’est finit,” which Richard said at the end of his game of hide-and-seek with Thomas, and the poltergeist remembers who he is long enough for Cassidy to trap him in his reflection and send him on. They step back into the world just as Cassidy’s parents finish filming.
How did Tunnel of Bones end?
They return to the hotel, and Cassidy falls asleep. When she wakes up, she goes back to Sylvaine’s apartment to return the photos to Adele and tell her Thomas has moved on. Afterward, she goes to the Louvre with her parents.
While they are there, Jacob tells Cassidy his real name (Jacob Ellis Hale) and how he died so she can keep reminding him and save him from becoming a poltergeist. About a year and a half before Cassidy fell into the river, he drowned in the same river. He had spent the day at the river with his brothers, and when the current took his little brother’s toy away, he went looking for it. When the current suddenly picked up, he was hit by some debris in the water and never resurfaced.
Cassidy sees a man in a black suit at the Metro station with a skeleton mask, but no one else notices him. He reaches up to take off the mask, and Cassidy faints when she sees there’s nothing underneath. When she wakes up, the man in the suit is gone, and her family gets on the Metro to leave for their next destination.
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