Books

Books : reviews

Paul Cornell.
Witches of Lychford.
Tor. 2015

Traveler, cleric, witch.

The villagers in the sleepy hamlet of Lychford are divided. A supermarket wants to build a major branch on their border. Some welcome the employment opportunities, while some object to the modernization of the local environment.

Judith Mawson (local crank) knows the truth—that Lychford lies on the boundary between two worlds, and that the destruction of the border will open wide the gateways to malevolent beings beyond imagination.

But if she is to have her voice heard, she’s going to need the assistance of some unlikely allies…

Paul Cornell.
The Lost Child of Lychford.
Tor. 2016

It’s December in the English village of Lychford—the first Christmas since an evil conglomerate tried to force open the borders between our world and … another.

Which means it’s Lizzie’s first Christmas as Reverend of St. Martin’s. Which means more stress, more expectation, more scrutiny by the congregation. Which means … well, business as usual, really.

Until the apparition of a small boy finds its way to Lizzie in the church. Is he a ghost? A vision? Something else? Whatever the truth, our trio of witches (they don’t approve of “coven”) are about to face their toughest battle yet!

Paul Cornell.
London Falling.
Tor. 2012

Detective Inspector James Quill is about to complete the drugs bust of his career when his prize suspect is murdered in custody. Furious, Qyill pursues the investigation, co-opting intelligence analyst Lisa Ross and undercover cops Costain and Sefton. But nothing about the death is normal.

Now the team must find a suspect who can bend space and time, and alter memory itself, before they strike again.

As the group starts to see London’s sinister magic for themselves, they have two choices: panic or use their new abilities. Hunting a terrifying supernatural force the only way they know how, they must learn the rules of this new game – and quickly. More than their lives will depend on it.

Paul Cornell.
The Severed Streets.
Tor. 2014

Summer in London: a city in turmoil. The murder of a well-known MP is like a match to tinder, but Detective Inspector James Quill and his team know that it’s not a normal homicide. Using their new-found second sight, they soon discover that they are the only ones who can see the killer.

Then there are more deaths. The bodies of rich, white men are found in circumstances similar to those that set the streets of London alight with fear during the late 1800s: the Whitechapel murders. Even after everything they’ve seen, accepting that Jack the Ripper is back from the dead is a tough ask. Quill realizes that they have to understand more about this shadowy London, but the team’s unlikely guide – a bestselling author – can’t offer them much insight.

Relying on traditional police work and improvising with their new skills only lands them in deeper water, and the investigation is soon going to hell – literally. If they’re not careful, they may be going with it…

Paul Cornell.
Who Killed Sherlock Holmes?.
Tor. 2016

The ghost of Sherlock Holmes is dead
But who will solve his murder?

The Great Detective’s ghost has walked London’s streets for an age, given shape by people’s memories. Now someone’s put a ceremonial dagger through his chest. But what’s the motive? And who – or what – could kill a ghost?

When policing London’s supernatural underworld, eliminating the impossible is not an option. DI James Quill and his detectives have learnt this the hard way. Gifted with the Sight, they’ll pursue a criminal genius – who’ll lure them into a Sherlockian maze of clues and evidence. The team also have their own demons to fight. They’ve, been to Hell and back (literally) but now the unit is falling apart…