This, the seventh in Christopher Fowler's excellent Bryant and May detective series, finds the elderly pair on as fine form as ever. Following the disbandment of the Peculiar Crimes Unit at the end of the previous in the series, The Victoria Vanishes, it seemed like the end. However, when headless corpses start being discovered, and a mysterious stag-like figure is seen, Bryant and May again swing into action.
The story, as ever, is set in and around a part of London that millions of people pass through each year, but don't really see. In this instance it is King's Cross, set against the backdrop of the current regeneration of the area following the Eurostar terminal being opened at St Pancras. The plot moves forward at a good pace, with the two detectives' differing views on the crimes (supernatural vs mundane) used to good effect.
One of the most interesting facets of the book is seeing how the various members of the Peculiar Crimes Unit have adapted (or in some cases failed to adapt) to life outside of the police force. Some have handled it well, some badly, and it's interesting to see just how much the team meant to most of the former members.
As always with the Bryant and May series, it is a cracking read, and one to be enjoyed by existing fans of the series - especially with the promise of an eighth book next year. However, this would also be a good starting point for those who haven't yet discovered the delights of Christopher Fowler's work, so hopefully this book will earn him more fans. It's a lot more inventive and a lot more fun than most other crime fiction, so if you want a whodunnit (or indeed a whatdunnit) with style, humour, tension, and, at the end of a day, a good old-fashioned story, then give it a go. You won't be disappointed.