London Falling by Paul Cornell
This is not your ordinary Police procedural.
James Quill is a Detective Inspector about to wrap up an investigation into a drug lord Rob Toshack, that despite having two undercover officers, has been going nowhere. Quill brings things to a head with a bust, arresting Toshack only for the suspect to mysteriously, impossibly and bloodily die in the questioning room.
Quill, undercover officers Constain and Sefton and intelligence analyst Lisa Ross are pulled off the main investigation by their superiors to investigate the suspect’s murder — but nothing makes sense in the case.
It’s not until Quill touches some dirt left in a pattern on the lawn of a property they are investigating, causing the team to see another side of London — its magic — that they begin to realise that Toshack made a protection deal gone wrong with a supernatural entity that is continuing to kill.
However no knowledge comes without sacrifice, and they each have their secrets to explore.
If you like Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London or Kate Griffin’s Matthew Swift series (for example, A Madness of Angels), you will love this book. Yes, it’s part of the ‘Magic London’ sub-genre of Urban Fantasy, but it is compellingly written and brings some surprises to the expected tropes.
SMSA Program and Communications