Review: London Falling by Paul Cornell

Reviewed by Pete Sutton


  • E-book / Mass Market Paperback (ISBN 978-0-765368102)
    Tor Books, April 2013
    432 pages

Rob Toshack is a crime lord that has somehow come to run pretty much all the crime in London. DI Quill heads the operation to bring Toshack to justice & there are two undercover cops in the organisation helping to do so. When Toshack is caught however things take a strange turn and Quill, the two undercover cops and an analyst are drawn into a supernatural world. As the detectives investigate further they are drawn into this supernatural world of witches, football matches and a version of London that once they encounter it means they will never be the same again.

Originally a TV script (and now optioned for TV) there are a few issues with the book that may put off other readers. The characters are a bit stock at the beginning for example and would be better differentiated on screen I guess, with visual clues. There is also some exposition provided in flashback that could be seen as being a bit clumsy, although the writing is good enough for me to forgive this. However the hints and glimpses of the world underneath (or above?) London are great and the plot, once it kicks in, cracks along at a good pace with our four protagonists growing as we understand more as we flit from one to another POV. There were points where the book gave me a visceral emotional reaction including a shiver up the spine and a solid “woah” from a reveal. To me that’s a sign of a good book. There is some clever stuff in here and it gets the balance right between revealing enough to get a handle on what’s going on whilst concealing enough to keep you intrigued and wanting to follow on. Good job really as there is a sequel due in May this year. I for one am eagerly awaiting it.

Overall – Police procedural with supernatural elements, the start of what promises to be a great series.

Pete SuttonPETE SUTTON did a postgrad in Publishing at Oxford Brookes with every intention of working in the publishing industry. Life appeared to get in the way and he now works for a French technology company but asks that you don’t hold that against him. Always deeply absorbed in a book, sometimes has several on the go at once, he also writes stories in his spare time and some of them sometimes get published. You can find him on Twitter as @suttope and his general musings on books

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