Learn more Download now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now flip flip flip Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more



on 31 December 2014
This was quite an intriguing book. I really struggled to get into it for the first 10% and I noticed that some reviewers had compared it unfavourably with Ben Aaronovitch whose books I love. However, I would not compare the two at all. Aaronovitch has a much lighter touch generally and there are some really funny moments Paul Cornell's writing was almost 100% dramatic - I never really felt that any/all of the main characters could survive and the pace and sense of doom was all pervading and relentless. Having said all that, the book did grip me and I did thoroughly enjoy it by the end.

There were times though when I felt that the book was perhaps overlong and events did not proceed at a fast enough pace.

All in all a well written book with good characters and I would like to read the next one!
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 19 November 2017
It's hard to read without comparing it to Rivers of London. But where Rivers is fantasy, this is horror and where Rivers is Ars Magica this is Unknown Armies. Enjoyed it very much and about my only criticism is that the Epilogue feels a little tacked on. Will be picking up the next one after lunch.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 21 January 2014
Right, so this is book one in what promises to be a great series.

It is also part of a number of Urban Fantasy titles to be based in London (Rivers of London, 61 Nails...). It would be lazy to draw comparisons, yet at the same time we would like to group them together because they all belong to the heart of London and each seems to be centred around one of the many faces of London.

London falling is much darker than Rivers of London, so beware. From the word go we find ourselves in the middle of an undercover operation involving London's equivalent of the Godfather. He get's nicked and one of our main protagonists is very closed from throwing his warrant card away and opting for a life on the run with their gang leader.

A lot of the story links up to and involves West Ham United due to the villain being linked historically to the club. Slowly we unravel a troubled and haunted London and our 4 leading characters develop as they get accustomed to this new city they are now able to see and confront their own demons.

This book in itself, I would give a 3 to 3.5, but it merits the 4 stars simply on being a great introduction to what I hopes will become a very strong and interesting series. Looking forward to the next installments and I would recommend anyone interested in London and in Urban Fantasy to give this a read.
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 9 July 2017
Well maybe not 'ever' but certainly it's right up there. It is without any doubt the most ridiculous plot that I've read, one that had me constantly pausing to wonder why I was continuing to read it. The climatic final scene when the baby boiling witch meets mob justice really was the final straw, after that it was a quick skim just to find out where this nonsense ended up. Don't think I'll bother with the rest of the series.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 3 September 2017
I read and enjoyed this book some time back. Then I eventually read "The Severed Streets" and started to realise how much more there was to it, hence the re-read. This is a great Urban Gothic Police Procedural and I wonder if I should re-read "The Severed Streets" before going on to the next one.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 18 February 2013
Urban Fantasy set in London is ten a Penny at the moment. But this book has something extra. The witch of West Ham (SPOILERS AHEAD). A Crazy, phycopathic Witch who could have popped straight out of a Grimm's Tale. You've got to love any book where the central villain is going around killing any football player who scores a Hat Trick against her beloved West Ham Football club. The fact that she gets her power by boiling children in a cauldren is suitably gruesome, she even has a black cat.

The one issue I had was that this took a while to get going - but once it did it was definately worth the wait. The central cast of characters are interesting and it's a new tack to have such a flawed group as the focus. These are not your typical group of heroes and I am looking forward to seeing them each develop more. Splitting the view point between more than one character is also a nice change in the fast becoming over used trope of one point of view novels.

If you enjoy the likes of Sheldon, and Aaronovitch then definately give this ago. I am eagerly awaiting the next instalment.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 20 September 2016
Originally bought this as a stop gap to fill the space that had been created due to the delays on the newest Rivers Of London book. Have to say very glad I did so!

The only thing that this really shares with the Rivers of London series is that they both involve people in the Met Police. This is the first book of Paul Cornell's that I have read, and it won't be the last, I'll at least be picking up the next Shadow Police book, as long as the quality remains this high, I'll be picking up the ones after book 2 as well.

Liked the detail, some of the characters were all too believable, left wondering how much of the detail around the Boleyn was real and how much was embroidered for the purposes of the book.

Minor Spoilers for the first 40-50 pages ahead to end of review.

The book starts with a long running, undercover operative inside the organisation of the head of London's gang bosses, a man that for years, decades even, has been untouchable by the police, there's never been any evidence to get him bang to rights on anything more than a parking ticket. Money for the operation is running out and there's pressure from above to bring things to a head. At the same time, the gang boss is starting to behave erratically. Question is what's behind his perfect run, and what's leading to the change in behaviour? Was he really that much of a criminal genius, or were other forces involved, and if so what does his change in behaviour mean?
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 30 August 2017
I originally thought this may be a copy of the Rivers of London books, and to a slight extent it is. What I really liked was the authentic police team approach with no easy answer to the problems in the storyline. The West Ham bit was a bit far fetched (even within the context of the genre) but even so I still enjoyed it. I look forward to reading the next in the series. I hope it doesn't go silly - the "finding"of the library was too fortunate a move and takes away from the realistic approach and reactions of the characters which are a strength in this first of the series.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
VINE VOICEon 9 July 2015
Despite Ben Aaronovitch's endorsement, this one didn't draw me in the way "Rivers of London" etc did. Rather the contrast between the sharply drawn characterisation and dialogue of the latter probably put this one at a disadvantage. It just felt like another police procedural. I couldn't get into it. I feel sure that if I'd read it without having read Rivers I'd think more of it. My impression of this one is that the author took it all too seriously andno character stood out whereas PC Peter Grant et al all came alive fairly instantly and the light touch on the story was both entertaining and charming.
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 31 May 2017
Think ancient powers, think London, Witchcraft, Dark Powers, Sacrifice and West Ham Football Club...
Confused?
Think how the four coppers feel thrust into a world of magic underpinning London as they know it, and the crimes committed in its name unbeknownst to The Law...
Time to break some kneecaps boys.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse