Monday, September 28, 2015


Catching up with Christopher Fowler is always a delight. His books never fail to entertain.

Two teenagers go to a London park, ostensibly to stargaze. The park is really a long-disused cemetery, still kept up, and while on a romantic stroll, they encounter what appears to be a case of the living dead: a seeming corpse suddenly standing and moving toward them before collapsing.

Of course, the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called on the case. There's more to this than they anticipate; the corpse died recently, a seeming suicide, but there's something about the shady people he was working for that could have led to his desperate act. And now his wife is stalking her husband's former associates, and the teenaged son grows more surly.

It gets more complicated as one of the teenage witnesses is murdered, and more corpses pile up. There's another mystery going on, of how the famous ravens from the Tower of London are suddenly missing. Superstition has it that this is a sign of the collapse of the nation; is it really? And is that Crowleyesque Satanist who showed up in the last book somehow responsible?

This kicks off another investigation through modern London, which is every bit as bizarre and gothick as anything from a Hammer film. The story involves some strange forgotten corners of the city, a group of resurrectionists, and a jolly undertaker, before coming to a rational and satisfying end.

This is fabulous fun, a great old-fashioned tale with enough modernism to keep it from being out-of-date. There's some good exploration of Bryant and May's psyches and we delve into some of the other PCU members as well. The teenage daughter of one member gets pulled into some detective work as well....PCU, The Next Generation?

Any Bryant & May is a great read, and this especially is great reading as autumn gathers around us. As always, it's Required Reading.

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