Vivia Brisk knows about the dead. She should. She’s died enough times.
Vivia is a hag, one of the last of her race, and can die, visit the underworld, and return at will. She loves her job helping London’s most vulnerable supernaturals, even if her colleague Malcolm drives her round the bend on a daily basis.
Then Malcolm is outed as a zombie, and along with his teenage son, flees the police. When Malcolm is captured, he is only able to pass on one message before his dead brain degrades completely: ‘He killed me.’
When the police find decades-old corpses hidden near Malcolm’s home, Vivia begins to realise Malcolm’s still-missing son is in a lot more danger than from just a possible zompocalypse…
"A book that everyone should read, for the wonderful story, the differing take on the supernatural and a teasing mystery lasting to the very end."
Reviewer: Angel for Bookangel.
Vivia Brisk is a hag and knows a lot about death. able to die, visit the world on the other side and return This means that alongside her job helping supernatural creatures who have fallen on hard time in London, she helps the police out now and again. However, when the next case turns out to be her not-so-popular colleague, Malcolm, things get even more bizarre. Especially, when it turns out Malcolm is now a zombie and he has fled with his son. When Malcolm is then captured and will only speak to Vivia, the few words he utters before his mind degenerates makes no sense. When a set of bodies are then found near Malcolm's house, it appears there was a lot more going on than she ever expected. Trying to match up what she knows from being alive, with what she has seen while she was dead, shows that one of London's deadly mysteries is a lot closer to home than she thought.
This is an excellent supernatural mystery with an interesting concept and a wonderful downbeat feel to it, which matches the grimier parts of London it is set in. No fast cars and penthouses here, the book stays true to the locale it is based in. The characters are well-realised with excellent dialogue and interaction, no-one is perfect, their quirks and foibles made clear and kept consistent and they are all believable. The mystery has several twists and turns done in best Christie style and reading back through it you can find the little hints in plain sight that make it up. The interweaving of both the professional and personal lives of the characters blends nicely as the story plays out, with their past and present actions all having an impact on the unfolding drama.
In terms of the background, the take on the supernatural is wonderfully understated, not going for the overblown stereotypes, and keeping it as low rent as the rest of they story. And while the story may have elements of it, it is driven by the same emotions and desires that could power any novel, supernatural or otherwise. Finally, the length of the story seems to fit as the tension ratchets as more and more pieces begin to fit into place and the plot unfolds to its rather fitting conclusion.
This is a book that everyone should look to pick up and read, for the wonderful story, the differing take on the supernatural and a teasing mystery lasting to the very end. Rating:5
"Intelligently plotted, well-written, and gripping, I can't recommend this book highly enough. I bought the sequel. Fantasy, Urban Paranormal, or just readers looking for a good story will all find something here."
Reviewer: Reader for Bookangel.
Vivia Brisk is a hag, capable of crossing to the world of the dead. Living in London, with her mother's body in a glass case in the attic (her mother might want it back), her mother's undead soldier companion, and her sister's body (her soul is elsewhere), she divides her time between helping the police with murder cases and working with a Croydon-based charity that helps supernatural beings find work. Then the latest victim in her police work is a colleague who turns out to be undead instead of dead, and goes missing. Now London is on lockdown, at risk of an epidemic, and Vivia and her ghosts are the best chance to find him - and find out what else is going on - before a fifteen-year-old murder destroys more lives.
Fans of the urban fiction genre will find this a fascinating new take on older ideas, somewhere between the early Anita Blake books, BloodShadows, and Shaun of the Dead. This is definitely a mature, and in some places a dark, book and it doesn't shy away from the implications of its world, e.g. zombie activists trying to demand rights to corpses so they can eat. SW Fairbrother has created a believable and recognisable world with a vivid cast of characters, in an ebook presented with a professional layout, proofed and edited. There's nothing here I can take issue with.
Intelligently plotted, well-written, and gripping, I can't recommend this book highly enough. I bought the sequel. Fantasy, Urban Paranormal, or just readers looking for a good story will all find something here. Rating:4
Well the above post really confuses me a little bit, and I am not really sure if this is considered urban fantasy or not, and now I have to question whether I know what that is exactly. I do like hearing that it is intelligently plotted, though, and that is usually enough to keep me entertained and interested. I will take your high recommendation on this one though, so thank you.
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