The second instalment of Aaronovitch’s series following directly on after the concluding events of Rivers of London. Having only read the first book a few weeks before I couldn’t wait to pick this one up. Firstly we are given an update on Lesley – who you might remember from the first book – whose face was torn apart from the inside, literally.
I really liked Lesley in the first book, even when she was possessed and I am glad to see that she has gotten back up and is trying to do what she can to fix the wrongs against her. That is after she’s helped Peter with his current investigation, a killer who cuts off penis’ and the sudden deaths of jazzmen.
Peter is still learning as an apprentice magician but with Nightingale out of action (kind of, since when does a bullet wound stop someone?) it is up to him to lead the investigation without getting fired and getting Nightingale into any more trouble. Of course that’s not going to happen as Peter gets close to a woman of interest in the investigation the novel takes a surprising twist. As well as the two investigations he is a part of, Peter and Nightingale are also looking into the possibly of another magician whose intentions are far from good.
I like the idea of their being more magicians out there within this universe, perhaps somebody to help Peter with his equations and tests or, a magician who wishes to rule the world (insert He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named here). But what is most worrying within the novel is its conclusion.
I won’t spoil this part of the novel for any potential readers but I will say that it opens up more sinister storylines for the future even though, it is meant to be a good sign. If I have read the book correctly there is a distinct sense of foreboding at the end which lends to the sinister storylines I am thinking of. Of course this is not helped by the death of Peters lover (spoiler) in an act of selflessness.
The entire case revolving around the deaths of the jazzmen is slippery and if your not paying attention it is easy to lose out on what’s happening. Coupled with the penis slasher and the new magician there is a lot happening within this book, at times possibly too much but, I felt confident that Aaronovitch would bring it all together.
The novel introduces more characters which I hope will be making a return and gives us more insight into Nightingales past and how the magicians used to live. Molly’s stares and attitude provide more light relief as she tries to fix Nightingale with food
The book is everything I wanted from a sequel, new possibilities and characters and I’m looking forward to reading the third instalment.