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It's six months after A MATTER OF BLOOD and DI Cass Jones is still dealing with the repercussions. The investigation into corruption at Paddington station is about to move to trial but Jones's remaining colleagues don't trust him and he's been put on light investigations.

Cass and his new sergeant, Armstrong, are assigned to look into a spate of student suicides where the victims all left the message `Chaos in the darkness'. One of the victims is the sister of a protection officer assigned to the Prime Minister and their case dovetails into the investigation of a deadly terrorist attack on London. It soon becomes clear to Cass that Mr Bright and the Network are somehow involved with both but he's distracted by a message from his brother, left before his murder - "They took Luke". Determined find his nephew, Cass decides to take the fight back to Mr Bright. But Mr Bright has influence everywhere and Cass is going to need all his wits just to survive ...

The second in Sarah Pinborough's Dog-Faced Gods Trilogy is another tightly plotted, dark mix of horror and police procedural that keeps you turning the pages from start to finish.

Cass Jones remains a terrific character. He could so easily slip into cliché given his drug habit and cynicism, but the events in A MATTER OF BLOOD have shaken, if not cowed him. Determined to deny that he sees the Glow in some people, he's gradually forced to confront the fact that there's something supernatural going on. I enjoyed the uneasy relationship between him and Armstrong and particularly the way he compares Armstrong to his recently murdered colleagues.

There is much more information on Mr Bright and the Network here but Pinborough skilfully alludes to things without clunky exposition and so that there's plenty of room for interpretation. I particularly enjoyed the infighting between the various Network circles and the different agendas at play.

There's a lot of plot with the different investigations but Pinborough keeps them spinning nicely, the murders are grisly and chilling and there are enough red herrings and twists to keep you guessing. She does particularly well at drawing them together at the end. If I was nitpicking then some of the swearing - particularly the f-bomb - feels a little forced but it really didn't affect my enjoyment and I can't wait to read the concluding book.
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on 12 June 2016
First Impression: This being part 2 of a trilogy I was going in aware of the main characters, the setting and the themes... That didn't count for much here as SP kept the same basic outline but everything else within was fresh and taken in a new direction with a new bunch of characters and new set of rules to play by.

Summary Of The Story:

London is shaken to its very core by a series of bombings that have targeted busy public transport routes. As the Prime Minister and her party scramble to get ahead of all this terror by working with intelligence agencies to find the culprits they all come to the same conclusion... One man was responsible for the entire execution of this attack. This terrorist was not only in multiple locations in London, he also managed to be in Moscow and New York for other attacks at the same time.

Cass Jones is back, it is 6 months after the events of the last book and he is finally getting back on his feet. With Christian finally put to rest and his ex-wife gone Cass only has work and a new partner to fill the void and keep him going. Armstrong is young, tenacious and pushes Cass harder then others have before him. Cass has a full plate straight of the bat. 6 young teen suicides, all accompanied by the distinct catchphrase 'Chaos in the darkness'. A letter from Christian with the words 'They took Luke' inside (Luke being Christian's real son taken at birth). And to top it off, one of the Prime minister's body guard has gone A.W.O.L after a supposed threat to the PM's life, and Cass is recruited to find her.

In a typical Sarah Pinborough fashion, everything is knitted together in some way, and all Cass has to do is pick at the thread an watch everything slowly unravel before him. This elaborate scheme includes the elusive Mr Bright and a new host of characters that make up the Inner Cohort, high level members of an organisation called The Bank. With a new gang of characters called The Interventionists in the mix who are there to keep the balance in this conflict, events soon heat up and Cass feels the burn.

My Review:

I will start this review with my biggest impression, though this is a great bridge novel to the hopefully epic finale, I found it did not have that powerful and overwhelming shock and awe of its predecessor. It does keep the characters fresh and sets up some great new characters for the next instalment, though it was more comfortable and easier to digest. I came back for more challenging themes and WTF! moments but maybe SP has saved the best for last. Anyway...

The new story is just as complex, mind boggling and expertly weaved as the first one, though this time round SP went for consistency over potency. This means that I enjoyed it over all but it doesn't stick in mind my like some of the moments included in the first instalment. The political sections were necessary but also unnecessary at the same time, as those bits combined with the new Inner Cohort sections were over confusing for a simple guy like myself. Thankfully the Cass suicide sections and the search for Luke up the ante and we start to see Cass evolving and deteriorating simultaneously. We are left at the end with everything completely shattered/ruined and I am excited to see where we go from here.

In terms of characters. the usual suspects have not changed that much. Cass is still a one man army, Mr Bright is still clouded in mystery (we do see a little more of him this time round) and Josh the pathologist is back and in a bigger role. New characters include Armstrong who is Cass' new partner, he is more involved and more pushy than his last partner as he likes to step over the barrier between boss and employee. The Inner Cohort is full of evil. Finally the biggest new entry is Abigail Porter who is a body guard to the Prime Minister. Abigail is the most diverse character in this book. Covert, cold, caring(ish..) Abigail has a hard time juggling her job, her role in the bigger picture and the suicide of her sister. Each character meshes well in this dense tapestry and no one is out of place. I guess we will learn more about the Interventionists later on...

Overall it is a decent second entry and I am really looking forward to the finale, which I have in my to read pile already :D if you enjoy dark crime with horror elements then this is for you. If you like deep intricate story lines that connect several plot pieces then this is for you. If you like happy, up lifting and feel good thrills videos???..


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on 2 September 2013
This book plunged right into the action and didn't let up until the final page - and though at no time was I floundering - Pinborough is far too accomplished a writer for that - I did get the sense that I would have better appreciated exactly what was going on if I'd tracked down the first book, A Matter of Blood, before launching into The Shadow of the Soul. However, it didn't take long to get drawn into this gritty police procedural tale that felt far more like a Rankin whodunit than your average Dark Fantasy crime story. Cass Jones is a typically overburdened inner-city detective with a dysfunctional family life, rather than the supernatural, angst-driven beings that often inhabit urban fantasy crime novels.

Pinborough has successfully managed to come up with a flavour all of her own in this increasingly popular sub-genre. Second books in a trilogy often lack pace as they simultaneously have to produce a complete story arc, yet leave/produce a series of vital plot points dangling for the final book to solve. But this story whisks along as we get increasing insights into the Network and the strains within the apparently invulnerable organisation, as Cass Jones is still desperately trying to come to terms with what has happened to him and his family during the previous book. All these concerns are woven through the current investigations with deftness and skill that ensure this is a solid page-turner.

So, does the denouement pack sufficient punch? It needs to - Crime/Dark Fantasy genres require a strong ending to be regarded as successful and as Pinborough has braided these ingredients together, she has to pull off a really gripping conclusion that provides genuine shock value. Which she achieves with style. As Cass struggles to cope with the new set of facts he uncovers after investigating the events that have befallen his troubled family - the crimes he has also been following also get tied up in a way that I didn't see coming.

This second book has been sufficiently gripping that I'm going to hunt down the first and third offerings in this disturbing, compulsive series - and I recommend that you give it a go. But start with A Matter of Blood - writing this good deserves to be read in the correct order.
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on 7 October 2014
Many are the times that I have longed for a book that starts on pages one and wraps up the saga by the final page. However, as fantasy is one of my favourite genres, this is not usually the case. Instead the books are inevitably part of a series or a trilogy. Sarah Pinbourgh’s ‘Dog-Faced Gods’ trilogy is a great example. It has been some years since I read book one in the series, but I remember it being good. However, if you wait this long to get around to ‘The Shadow of the Soul’, you may find yourself as confused as I was.

‘Shadow’ is Urban Fantasy and has more than a taste of ‘Neverwhere’ to it. Set in a world manipulated by ancient Gods, it features Cass Jones as a detective who is aware that everything is not as it seems, but just wants to be left alone to solve the common garden variety of murders. However, when someone who appears to have perfectly cloned themselves starts to drop bombs, this is easier said than done.

The first in the series, ‘A Matter of Blood’, was a great mix of crime noir and fantasy. It never delved too deeply into the occult until the end and this gave the book a solid narrative and an ephemeral feel. ‘Shadow’ starts after this book and has left the supernatural door wide open, with no way to shut it. When the Gods played a hidden and secretive role in the story the book was intriguing, now that they are at the forefront, it is confusing. At times Cass is side-lined in favour of a bunch of super beings talking shop; all a bit dull really. Most of the momentum created in the first book is lost towards the middle of this one and only a daring conclusion opens up the series for better possibilities.
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on 9 June 2014
This second in Sarah Pinborough's Dog Faced God's trilogy is set 6 months after the first book. Students in London are committing suicide and the only thing that links them is the phrase Chaos In The Darkness.
Our hero Cassius Jones is on the case and, as you would expect from this series (please don't come in half way through, you'd be lost) much weirdness ensues.
At the heart of it all is The Bank, The Network and the enigmatic Mr. Bright, pulling strings as before. You get to see more of the background but I think it'll be the third book before it all really starts to become really clear.
The only thing stopping me giving this the full 5 stars is an issue with some of the editing (only minor)
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on 10 May 2011
An absolutely amazing book. Bad stuff happens, people get messed with good and proper and you are left desperately wanting to know what happens next.

Read this in a day I was that engrossed. Can't recommend this series enough, it's that good.
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on 11 October 2011
The Shadow of the Soul continues the successful marriage of horror and procedural thriller established by its predeccessor but it is also a much more sombre affair. Cass Jones is embroiled in another case where a series of deaths are interconnected by an unusual element but this time the deaths are suicides and said element is the phrase 'Chaos in the darkness'. This provides a great funereal contrast to the gruesome serial murders of the previous book whilst maintaining an overall structural and thematic integrity between the two. There is a sense that we are going deeper here, getting under the skin of this rotting world and seeing what is waiting there. Cass Jones also seems to serve as an embodiment of this reality; tired, bitter, corrupt and not at all sure what he is fighting for but he does keep on fighting and that is why we stick with him as he uncovers conspiracies that bear chilling echoes of Al-Qaeda and the Hutton Inquiry, which all lead him back to the mysterious Network, the Glow and Mr Bright. I would recommend this to readers who want a thriller that is as dark as they come and blends recent world politics with incredibly eerie metaphysics. There's chaos in the darkness. You should come and give it a try.
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on 23 July 2012
Sarah has really upped the stakes in this second part of The Dog Faced Gods trilogy. A Matter of Blood was pretty much your basic murder mystery/thriller with fantasy elements thrown in. The Shadow of the Soul goes all out with the fantasy, and introduces us to other members of the mysterious Network, and gives some interesting insights as to who (or what) Mr. Bright and his associates are.

Once again Cass Jones is the cop on the edge, surrounded by death and people who don't like - or trust him - and still coping with the fall out from events in the first book. This second outing is on a grander scale, a world wide conspiracy coupled with a string of suicides and a battle for supremacy within the Network.

The last part looks to be a belter based on the set up at the end this book.
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This is a superb follow-up to A Matter Of Blood: The Dog-Faced Gods Trilogy If you haven't read that yet I'd strongly urge you to - and warn that there are mild spoilers about that book below.

The setting is a chilling, near-future London: the world economy is wrecked, with Governments deep in hock to The Bank, terrorists are attacking - terrorists who seem able to be in more than one place at the same time - and new, drug resistant strains of disease are on the increase. DI Cass Jones continues the hunt for his missing nephew, Luke, while investigating a series of student suicides linked only by the enigmatic message: "Chaos in the darkness". Jones made himself unpopular in the the previous book by bringing down a network of corrupt police officers, and he knows that his colleagues are just waiting for him to make a slip. He can't afford any mistakes, which makes his hunt dangerous, especially when he is warned off by the mysterious Mr Bright, one of the figures behind The Bank. As Cass knows, there is more to The Bank than mere finance, criminal conspiracy or even a stereotypical, all-powerful clique manipulating history (though there is all that).

This book starts to fill in a little of the background, introducing us to more of the entities that, alongside Bright, control The Bank and The Network that stands behind it, sketching their deep history and darker desires. It's like a blend of "The X-files" and a Rebus book, perhaps. By the end, Cass is in a tight place, although he seems to have some new allies. Pinborough's writing is impressive, keeping the story humming along across a number of subplots - as well as Jones's central quest there are Bright's machinations and those of his rivals, the political impact of the bombings, and the enigmatic violin man who seems to have appointed himself Cass's guardian. There is perhaps slightly less introspection than in the first book, making the story go with a bit more zing, and I'm really looking forward to the concluding volume, Untitled Pinborough 3 of 3: The Dog-Faced Gods Book Three (Dog-Faced Gods Trilogy), due out in 2012.
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on 30 December 2012
A thrilling continuation of the Dog Faced Gods, Following Cass Jones descent into even deeper trouble is a joy for us, if not for Cass, and the slow revelelations regarding Mr Bright and The Bank are if anything even more gripping than in the first book. If you like your fiction dark and violent, this is a must read for you.
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