Book Review – The Severed Streets

  • Title: The Severed Streets
  • Author: Paul Cornell
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 07/29/2014

The Severed Streets is Paul Cornell’s sequel to London Falling but whereas London Falling started slow because there was a lot of set-up, The Severed Streets jumps right in. It’s a brilliant novel that I highly recommend, but I also don’t want to spoil it. Simply read this novel.

The plot is three-fold: due to government cuts to salaries and personnel the London Metropolitan Police are threatening an illegal but justified strike. Fed-up with the Coalition government cuts to necessary services, “flash mobs” in Toff masks and costumes are showing up all over London, raising havoc and slowly becoming more and more violent. And, in the midst of all this, James Quill’s special unit is called to investigate supernatural murders in impossible places that superficially resemble the crimes of Jack-the-Ripper.

The novel draws you in to its world and moves fast. Reading the book kept me up late for several nights because I could not put it down. And it’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that was that engrossing.

This is a somewhat depressing book – but it’s a story with hope too. At it’s heart it’s more of a Supernatural mystery or crime story than fantasy – James Quill and his unit are cops – cops with special abilities, which they acquired in an accident in the first novel in the series, London Falling. And, yes, by the end of the novel, like in all crime stories, the crime is solved. But in no way is the story predictable, there was only one detail where I could have predicted something would happen that did – and it happened in an unpredictable way (and my reaction was more along the lines of how series fiction works than anything the author telescoped unnecessarily).

The book was awesome, and the last line is an “OMG!” moment that stuck in my head for days. I highly recommend this novel, and I dearly hope there will be another book in the series.

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