Summer in London: a city in turmoil. The vicious 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 run-of-the-mill homicide. Still coming to terms with their new-found second sight, they soon discover that what is invisible to others - the killer - is visible to them. Even if they have no idea who it is.
Then there are more deaths. The bodies of rich, white men are found in circumstances similar to those that set the streets of London awash with fear during the late 1800s: the Whitechapel murders. Even with their abilities to see the supernatural, accepting that Jack the Ripper is back from the dead is a tough ask for Quill's team. As they try to get to grips with their abilities and a case that's spiralling out of control, Quill realizes that they have to understand more about this shadowy London, a world of underground meetings, bizarre and fantastical auctions, and objects that are 'get out of hell free' cards.
But the team's unlikely guide, a bestselling author, can't offer them much insight - and their other option, the Rat King, speaks only in riddles.
Relying on old-fashioned police work and improvising with their new skills only lands them in deeper water, and they soon realize that the investigation is going to hell - literally. And if they're not careful, they may be going with it . . .
The Severed Streets is the second urban fantasy by bestselling Doctor Who writer, Paul Cornell.
©2014 Paul Cornell (P)2014 Audible Studios
"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)
"Paul Cornell is a triple threat, the kind of writer other writers hate. He writes award-winning short stories. He writes epic television episodes for all your favourite BBC shows. He writes kickass comic books and graphic novels... now he's gone and written a novel too!" (George R. R. Martin)
"I think it is absolutely magnificent. I loved it... I'm not sure I've been that gripped by a novel in... well, decades" (Russell T. Davies)
"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... Cornell's undercover coppers and plain-clothes detectives are a thoroughly seedy bunch of reprobates" (Guardian)
Fan of urban fantasy & Victorian gothic especially set in London. Oh, and Georgette Heyer.
I liked the first book so much that I got this straight away and binge listened. The team are still investigating inexplicable crime and trying to understand how they can fight it. We learn more about each character and what motivates them. They aren't always particularly sympathetic but that's fine too. I really liked the idea of this book's main villain; their motivations and actions are only too believable.
There's a major cameo from a real person. I hadn't been spoiled by knowledge of it and at first the person is just described and I just thought it was just going to be one for the fans but then they take a bigger and utterly unexpected role. I'm glad I didn't know in advance as it certainly added to my pleasure in the book.
Usual caveat - this is the second book in a series. Read the first one first as that is how book series work best (except for Narnia obviously)
Damian Lynch continues to be excellent.
I am visiting London at the time of listening to this book and last night happened upon a 'Jack the Ripper Tour' in a tiny alley near Whitechapel while listening - reality and fiction suddenly blurred and I spent the next 20 minutes hoping for Quill, Sefton, Ross or Costan to fall into step beside me!
Excellent story, plot, character development and suspense. The use of 'real' people adds an interesting dimension. So believable that I had to talk myself out of it as reality 😉
Make sure that you read/listen to the first book 'London Falling' before this one as, although this would work on its own, you'll lose a lot of story if you don't.
Enjoy it - I certainly did ☺️
Damian Lynch read it just right! Bringing all the characters to life.
He does really terrible things to them which is just fantastic.
Can't wait for the next one.
Great satisfying book. Very morish. I was sorry when it was over and look forward to the next installment.
Quill is so Gene Hunt he balances out the spiritual themes.
I loves the way he did Quill. Also without using spoilers I enjoyed his impression of the cameo character very much.
Love life, love being happy.
The story takes you places you don't expect. I don't think I'd be able to read this book as it can be difficult to follow but the narrator brings it to life with his amazing voices.
It's a post-Olympic, post Leverson, London that's still in the grip of riots, occupy, and the Anonymous group. Our team have waded into tempestuous political waters as they finally get a case that needs their specialized expertise and dive into occult London.
The main surprise was the role of Neil Gaiman - whose cameo I had been aware of from an article. Keeping the spoilers away it did add a shock factor that was hard to get any other way but also felt wrong - like the author has stripped something away from me. It's obvious who some of the other characters are meant to be in the real world and I thought it being a person would add refeshing honesty. However, I apparently really enjoy the if-you-know-who-I-mean-nod-nod-wink-wink aspect of allegorical fiction.
The narrator was good - didn't quite get Neil but it was a valiant attempt. The characters seemed realistic and distinct.
It's the gritty end of crime/urban fantasy and does take care to avoid some of the big cliches of both genres but it still hit on a few that made me groan a bit. The satirical elements felt over-done. Very over-done in parts but it was still good fun, well paced, and with a large diverse cast of characters that really came into their own.
The strength of the characters and the multiple plot lines
Damien has a fabulous range of characterisations that he brings to the story, I just want to listen to him all evening...
Not moved .... Enthralled as the story evolves
It is a good book and if you like mystery and super-natural, this is a book for you. I am a fan of Monster Hunter International, Iron Druid and the like. This was a great surprise it was dark and kept me engaged. Plus I love the English accents.
The character building and the development of the story. And I hate to say the Cat was funny in a creepy way
Didn't have one. the story couldn't be broken like that. you need it all to enjoy it.
The moment when they all excepted what they had and are gonna be.
It is a book that surprised me and I wouldn't have pickled it up if some of my other series was available. Can't wait to get into the next book.
"Neil Gaiman Fanfiction"
The first book in this series was fantastic. The second reads like a paid advertisement for Neil Gaiman, who is a 2d and nonsensical major character in the book, which feels generally sloppy compared to the first. Avoid.
Damien Lynch is flawless.
"Like the first book, like the the story, but..."
It is a interesting police team that are out of their depth. It is internering to follow them as they try to make heads and tails of occult London. But in the first book they were totally clueless, but now they are in the know, they cant keep being clueless, but the author whants them to
His pace is a bit slow, and there are to many pauses. It slows a good book down.
"An acceptable sequel"
The second book in the Shadow Police series finds the special investigation team lead by James Quill called back into services to solve several unusual and improbable murders in London. Elements of the murders are invisible for other detectives, but DI Quill and his team have a special sight thrust upon them in the previous book to see the murderer. (I strongly recommend reading London Falling first and maybe re-reading it before tackling The Severed Streets.) It's one thing to see a murderer, but it is another to catch and stop them. DI Quill and his team won't stop until they find and stop the murderer and protect London in their very special way.
The Severed Streets, maybe not as powerful as London Falling, but is enjoyable an addition to the Shadow Police Series.
"Another brilliant tale"
Definitely in the Top 10 (out of dozens); in the top 3 or 4 of fiction books. What a treat to listen to these books.
How to answer without spoiling..... I will say, "when the gang escapes certain death in the Keel brothers' pub using only a phial and a very unexpected consequence."
Every bit of it. He is the perfect narrator for these books of occult London - perfect pauses, perfect diction, perfect accents.
I don't normally go for series but I am absolutely loving the characters, the plots, the writing, and the narration of these books. Downloading the next one the moment I post this review.
"Irresponsible portrayal of drug use"
Loved the first book, and really love the characters and the world Cornell has created, but this book left me seething due to the totally unrealistic use of meth as a plot device for keeping the characters awake.
Anyone who has lost someone to meth addiction could tell you how unlikely it is that someone using meth would be able to continue to function as these characters do and then just stop using when it was no longer "required".
I'm really gobsmacked that an author of Cornell's normal calibre could portray something so serious so flippantly. Very disappointed.
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