“A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil; an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common or garden serial killer?
Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his case-load.
So far so London.
But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on an housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans and inhabited by the truly desperate.
Is there a connection?
And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River?”
This is the fourth book in this series and I think it gets better with each one. I love that London is a character in the books. It is more than just the city it is set in. It’s the life of the people living in it.
This one brings back the regular characters and develops the story surrounding the faceless man as Peter and Nightingale’s enemy. This one take Peter and Lesley away from their normal setting and undercover in a down and out estate to uncover why it’s a source of power.
Magic still runs deep in this book and as Peter gains a better understanding so do we the reader. This is a different kind of magic book than those I usually read. It is not taken for granted that magic exists, but rather it is meet with suspicion and is learnt like a science. Although magic is there to help, the characters still follow the rules of the law (most of the time) and solving crimes is the most important thing. I like the level of detail these books go into out police procedure.
I think the narrator really makes these books for me. He even has a fantastic names – Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. He becomes the main character and then is able to change his voice enough to be the other characters in the book. That is important to me as without the written words in front of me it can be hard to follow when the characters change in conversations if the narrator is not good at changing his voice.
The end of the book was good. There is a twist I didn’t see coming, but thinking back I am not surprised. I wonder how the twist is going to impact the characters in the next book. Betrayal is a hard thing to overcome and I think it is going to hit the heart of the characters hard.
Overall I liked this book a lot. I’m glad I kept going with the series and would sell it to people as a crime book with the bonus of magical help.