Sometimes rhetoric has consequences. If you spend days, weeks, months, years telling people they are under threat, that their country has been stolen from them, that they have been betrayed and sold down the river, that their birthright has been pilfered, that their problem is they’re too slow to realise any of this is happening, that their problem is they’re not sufficiently mad as hell, then at some point, in some place, something or someone is going to snap. And then something terrible is going to happen.From The Spectator. Something terrible did, of course, happen. I hadn’t heard of Jo Cox before today, but she seems to have been a thoroughly decent person.
Some books take weeks or even months to read. Others slip down in just a few days. This was the latter kind.
Paul Cornell’s Shadow Police series is part of a thriving subgenre now. He and Ben Aaronovitch started out at a similar time, I guess, and they’re friends, so I don’t know if they came up with the idea together, or what. Maybe it was just steam-train time. But London cops who deal with the magical, occult side of the city’s problems are very much of today.1
This latest volume picks up not long after The Severed Streets finished, and our characters are in some dark places personally and professionally. But then the ghost of Sherlock Holmes is found murdered at the Holmes museum, and a serial killer starts murdering people in ways inspired by the Holmes stories. The game is afoot, obviously, and our heroes must take part.
This is really, really, good, and highly recommended. Though if you haven’t read them yet, start at the beginning with London Falling.
Though I can’t help but wonder if Charlie Stross started it all. His Laundry Files series is about secret agents with occult dealings, rather than police, but there are obvious similarities. ↩