Well, my library is being watched at least. I keep reading myself in circles; themes from one book bleed into another; people, places, statements, snippets of songs- this year is becoming one giant, roiling, swirling brew of a book.
Peter Grant and the Falcon Family (tm tm tm!) are back in London, up to their necks in the Thames and sinking fast. Luckily, the river is full of gods who are just as willing to save them as they are to let them drown. Last week I too was splashing about it the Thames with Once Upon a River. There was plenty of murder and mystery in that river, just as there is in this.
Lady Tyburn’s daughter is in trouble- deep trouble. Trouble with love, trouble with drugs, and trouble with The Faceless Man and his cronies. Also, the magical American para-military. Oh, and some witches have appeared to stake their claim to a long-lost and potentially magical text: Jonathan Wild’s final ledger.
Jonathan Wild, you ask? Wasn’t he just stomping and bellowing about last month in Confessions of the Fox? Told you someone was watching me! The long-dead Thief Catcher General and the old Hanging Tree at Tyburn are dragging themselves out of the muck again- and Jack Sheppard has let himself in again as well.
I was particularly grateful for a return to London after the last outing; I love a good folk-horror-of-the-British-Isles as much as the next creep, but I missed the murderers’ row of the London crew. Peter, Bev, and Nightingale lead the charge, but Lady Ty, Zach the Goblin, Sahra Guleed the self-appointed “Muslim Ninja”, Dr. Walid, Molly, and Toby the magic-finding-dog are all back and ready to cause, solve, and/or clean up some mayhem!
The return to the city also brought back the return of Peter’s (read: Aaronovitch’s) running commentary on the state of the city. He’s always had an eye for architecture, but this time he is pushing harder into and against colonialism, bigotry, and English Nationalism- all of these jabs are greatly appreciated! He gets some good hits in at the dreadful state of American policing and military involvement as well.
We’ve been presented with two faces of “the old guard”, Nightingale and The Faceless Man. Nightingale learns, grows, and is open to building on the past. The Faceless Man is a racist, maniacal, morally bankrupt monster obsessed with the Dark Ages. Here’s hoping that light wins out, because I don’t know how much more darkness the world- fictional and otherwise – can take.