Damn. It’s only April and I’ve already fallen behind in my reviews, so this one’s a two-fer as I try and catch up.
I read these back-to-back during some sleepless nights in Rome (which was actually a plus as far as I was concerned – I got to do tons of sightseeing while also racking up some serious reading time), safely ignorant of the fact that there aren’t any more in the series yet until I got to the end of The Hanging Tree and had a conniption on heading to the kindle store for the next. I’m gonna miss Peter’s world…
First up was Foxglove Summer, which I think may have been one of my favourites so far. Taking Peter out of his world and transporting him to the countryside to investigate the disappearance of two young girls, he’s working without the benefit of Nightingale and the Folly, and still smarting from the tasering he received from Lesley at the end of the last book. He does, however, have the assistance of a local copper, the copper’s diesel-sniffing friend and Beverley Brook, which is useful when it turns out that the perpetrators of the children’s disappearance aren’t of the human variety. I wholeheartedly approve of Beverley, and this book’s foes also filled me with more than the usual amount of glee, while the setting also really appealed to me (having grown up in a council estate on the edge of Dartmoor, I’m far more familiar with fields, travellers, riverside pubs, the woods and knowing all of your neighbours than I ever will be with London).
The Hanging Tree took us back to London as Lady Ty calls in the favour that Peter owes her on her daughter becoming entangled in a drug-related death in an unoccupied luxury apartment, while also rubbing him up against armed Americans, stolen goods and his former partner, now working for the Faceless Man. Allowing us to see just a little of what Lady Ty can do when she’s pissed off, as well as putting a face to the Faceless Man, this one felt really quite action packed with escapades including magical battles in Harrods, demolished buildings and Nightingale being a badass (even if we only get to hear rather than see the best of his badassery).
Although I’ve been appreciating it up until now, these two in particular really highlighted the brilliant diversity on display in these books, with a far greater appreciation of London culture than, say, the works of Richard Curtis. White, cisgender and heterosexual is not the default setting for the characters that populate Peter’s world, which is all the better for it. I can’t believe I actually have to wait for the next instalment now.