A genre-defying page turner that fuses thriller and speculative fiction with dark fantasy in a hidden world in the heart of Cold War Europe.
THE TRUE COLD WAR IS FOUGHT ON THE BORDERS OF THIS WORLD, AT THE EDGES OF THE LIGHT.
It’s 1965 and Christopher Winter is trying to carve a new life, a new identity, beyond his days in British Intelligence. Recruited by London’s gangland he now finds himself on the wrong side of the law – and about to discover that the secret service has a way of claiming back its own. Who is the fatally alluring succubus working honeytraps for foreign paymasters? What is the true secret of the Shadowless, a fabled criminal cabal deadlier than the Mafia? And why do both parties covet long- buried caskets said to hold the hearts of kings? Winter must confront the buried knowledge of his own past to survive – but is he ready to embrace the magic that created the darkness waiting there?
When the lovely people at Titans pitched me this book I Jumped at the idea. It promised me Ben Aaronovitch and Neil Gaiman’s vibes and you know how my knees go weak when I hear any whispers underground of the river of London series, see what I did there? And, honestly, this series doesn’t disappoint… but.
“But” a big fat “but” that I simply didn’t seem to grasp and that made me think long and hard about it. Physically the book is perfect. It flows, it amaze and it’s fast paced enough to keep you on your toes, and yet…. yet I could put it down and not touch it again. I have to admit the second book is even better than the first but… took me a month to read it. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I recommend it? Why not. But will I remember the plot a year from now…? Probably not. It didn’t grip me and I really wanted it to.
I think where Aaronovitch and even Gaiman have struck gold was to add a pepper of well placed humor, absurdity and cockiness and this book is so… serious. I’m not the best person for serious, but that’s on me, not on the book. All in all is an amazing ubermensch and dark historical magical realism piece of fiction. I’m glad I pushed through to read it but I probably won’t read it again. So If You love Magical Realism and are down to read books more intense or even down to business, things like The secret history, Stephen King, Russian classics or are a fan of historical fiction, the Cold War, wars in general. Spies, evil forces, magic, traitors and most of all are not Squamish at all I’d say, buy this series. It’s the one for you. It’s fast paced and will keep you guessing while giving you action from the get go!
🍑🍑🍑A good three peaches for both books and overall to the series for me.