Book Review: London Falling by Paul Cornell

Title: London Falling (Shadow Police #1)

Author: Paul Cornell

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Horror, Fiction, Crime, Paranormal

Publisher: Tor Fantasy

Published: February 25, 2014

Page Amount: 432 pages

Goodreads Summary:The dark is rising …Detective Inspector James Quill is about to complete the drugs bust of his career. Then his prize suspect Rob Toshack is murdered in custody. Furious, Quill pursues the investigation, co-opting intelligence analyst Lisa Ross and undercover cops Costain and Sefton. But nothing about Toshack’s murder is normal. Toshack had struck a bargain with a vindictive entity, whose occult powers kept Toshack one step ahead of the law — until his luck ran out. Now, the team must find a ‘suspect’ who can bend space and time and alter memory itself. And they will kill again.

Why I Read: I couldn’t tell you when I found out about London Falling. I have sneaking suspicion that I research “alternate London realities” or “books similar to Neverwhere” and came up with a list that I went ahead and added to my TBR. That sounds about right. Books that surround the alternate London, the secondary parallel universe that lies simultaneously that no one can see – there is something incredibly alluring about that prospect. In our world, magic is hard enough to find and the idea that it does exist and we just cannot see it: it’s beyond tempting

Review: Part of what makes London Falling a bit unique among traditional alternate London imaginings, is that it combines the classic London crime novel with the paranormal tilt. The police detectives use the kind of language that you would expect to find in the most British of British books – and each character has their own deeply troubled backstory. The story itself is also entirely rooted in London history. Without giving too much away, there is a reason that Mona Losely seems to only be present in London itself. 

I actually did find the writing style a bit hard to follow at times, but I think that’s because the British language structure (particularly the style that very “London-ized” police officers use to talk with one another) is not what I’m used to reading. I barely read police thrillers as it is, so I actually felt like I ran into trouble reading the book. That was strange. This isn’t to say the writing style wasn’t well-done or that the characters weren’t well-developed. They absolutely were. In fact, I absolutely loved the end twist before the final confrontation between the police officers and the antagonist. I absolutely will-not positively no-way will reveal this: but MAN: It was good.

Where else to go? The pace itself was a bit problematic at some points, and I did find the build slow , but overall: the book was fun. It wasn’t *as* fun as some other quick police thrillers that I’ve read in the past, rather- it was a darker thriller that had less humour intertwined with police work. Ah well. Overall, it was a good book to read for the last week. It took me some time to get into it, and in the end: through it – but I would…. somewhat recommend it?

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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