|3.5 out of 5 stars|
Detective Inspector James Quill is about to complete the drugs bust of his career. Then his prize suspect Rob Toshack is murdered in custody. Furious, Quill pursues the investigation, co-opting intelligence analyst Lisa Ross and undercover cops Costain and Sefton. But nothing about Toshack’s murder is normal. Toshack had struck a bargain with a vindictive entity, whose occult powers kept Toshack one step ahead of the law – until his luck ran out.
Now, the team must find a 'suspect' who can bend space and time and alter memory itself. And they will kill again. As the group starts to see London’s sinister magic for themselves, they have two choices: panic or use their new abilities. Then they must hunt a terrifying supernatural force the only way they know how: using police methods, equipment and tactics. But they must all learn the rules of this new game - and quickly. More than their lives will depend on it.
I chose this novel to read to fill the Fall into a Good Book square of my 2016 Halloween Book Bingo card. I’d been wanting to read it for a while, since it was recommended by none other than Ben Aaronovitch, author of the Peter Grant series which I really like.
And I can see some basic similarities. Both authors obviously know & love London city. They also both see the city’s potential for magical history. But I find Aaronovitch’s series to be more optimistic and more playful. Cornell shows us a much darker, grittier, and more threatening magical system.
I also felt like the whole book was set-up, which may pay off in the second book. For me, things didn’t really snap into place until the very last chapters. Up until that point, I could have walked away without finishing the book and had no regrets. However, those last few pages have convinced me that I need to know where things go from here.
As I approach the end of several other beloved series, I am experiencing anticipatory mourning, so it is good to have another good series queued up and ready to roll. The Shadow Police will definitely help me with the loss of my favourites.