I think going into this book I was expecting something more like the Shades of Magic series, rather than the paranormal mystery novel that it was. I enjoyed it nevertheless and plan on reading the next book in the series when I can get my hands on it. Like any origin story, there’s a lot of set-up in this first book of the series. It was fun entering this version of London with a dark, fantastical side, but the actual plot was a bit light. Hopefully now that some world building has been set already, the next book will have a tighter, more complex mystery.
Peter Grant and his friend Leslie are both probationary constables on the cusp of entering specialized police work. Leslie, the superior cop, gets tapped to join the murder squad and at first it looks like Peter is headed towards the Case Progression Unit full of paperwork and “valuable contributions” to the team. Then when he meets a ghost and goes hunting for it for clues to a murder, he gets to join Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale who helps out on cases with a fantastical element. Together they try to hunt down the perpetrator of a wave of violent attacks in the city.
You should read this if you’re at all into paranormal mystery. The world building is great and there’s a whole side story about the godlike, but warring figures of Mother and Father Themes and their followers. As someone who likes character driven stories, there are a lot of intriguing characters that don’t get as much development as I’d have liked. Hopefully the next book in the series fixes that!