on 26 January 2010
This is the second in the Black London series. 'Demon Bound' develops the relationship between rogue urban mage and sometime heroin junkie Jack Winter and his nemesis and lover, Detective Inspector 'Pete' Caldicott.
Whereas 'Street Magic' came in the main from Pete's point of view, this second book is written more from Jack's perspective, and the reader finally discovers exactly what did happen thirteen years ago to allow Jack to cheat death. However, old debts are now coming due ...
'Demon Bound' fully lives up to the standards imposed by the first book, 'Street Magic'. There is clear and credible character development, and the growing and deepening of Jack's old bond with Pete is also realistic and believable -- thankfully, as it would be a crime to waste two such strikingly original and intriguing characters.
In my review of 'Street Magic' I commented on the drawback of the characters' imperfect 'Britspeak' - the most jarring incongruities have mostly been ironed out of their speech in this second book, although the idiomatic vocabulary for Jack and Pete is not quite perfect yet (as a lifelong resident of London I have yet to hear anyone addressed as 'you big pair of knickers'). Lawrence the Rasta's accent and vocabulary, however, are flawlessly executed -- he is in general an interesting and gentle character and I hope to see more of him in future books.
I greatly looked forward to the publication of 'Demon Bound' and was not disappointed - the plot was fast-paced but had enough depth to avoid the risk of superficiality, and the author has a real talent for creating interesting, many-layered characters who catch and hold the reader's attention -- even the very minor ones like Robbie and Trixie. Roll on Black London III.