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London Falling (Shadow Police)


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About the Author

Paul Cornell has written some of Doctor Who's best-loved episodes for the BBC. He has also written on a number of comic book series for Marvel and DC, including X-men and Batman and Robin. He has been Hugo Award-nominated for his work in TV, comics and prose, and won the BSFA award for his short fiction. London Falling is his first urban fantasy novel.


Cornell, a Hugo-nominated writer for Doctor Who and various comic books, embarks on a detailed police procedural-style exploration of the darkest parts of London's magical underbelly. This is not a lighthearted or playful romp through a sexy urban fantasy setting; instead it explores elements of real horror, such as kidnapping, rape, and gruesome murder. Though the story can get a bit bogged down by tedious descriptions of procedure or wordy ponderings on the nature of magic, the unusual plot-which follows officers using police techniques to learn, without a guide, about an entire world of magic, superstition, and darkness-will keep readers hooked. Stumbling in the dark is a slow process, but when the lights come on they reveal an interesting and very gritty new fantasy world with ample room for sequel stories. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

During their investigation of a crime lord's murder, London police officers Quill, Costain, Sefton, and Ross interact with a magical artifact that gives them the Sight. Suddenly, they can see ghosts, monsters, and other evil forces inhabiting London's streets and causing many of the crimes they would normally ascribe to "natural" occurrences. Their current case leads the four officers down a strange path involving an ancient witch with a fondness for sacrificing children to gain power, a curse involving the rivals of the West Ham football team, and the famous story of Henry VIII's doomed second wife, Anne Boleyn. -VERDICT The Hugo Award-nominated Cornell (Saucer Country; Demon Knights) has also written episodes of Dr. Who and Primeval. With his first foray into urban fantasy, he has created a group of four very different protagonists who must learn to play well with each other in order to survive London's supernatural shadow world. Despite a slow start, this blend of urban fantasy and crime fiction should find a group of welcoming readers. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

An irresistible blend of guns, gangsters, cops and monsters that grabs you by the eyeballs and never lets go. Start this book early in the day people, because you ain't going to get no sleep until it's done * Ben Aaronovitch *
'London Falling is a much grittier vision of a gothic, fantasy London, well balanced between its depiction of the city's criminal underworld and a horrifying fantasy reality that for most of the novel lurks just at the edges of sight. Its take on the crime genre is less The Bill, more The Sweeney' Guardian
'Realistic banter, original twists; a nifty debut' Daily Telegraph
The Shadow Police series is the quintessential British contemporary fantasy, full of grit and magic and wonderful things. Paul Cornell is a national treasure * Adam Christopher *

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