Recommended Reading: London Falling & The Severed Streets

(Originally written March 20th, 2015)

In the last month I’ve had the opportunity to take a captivating pair of books by British author Paul Cornell.  I stumbled upon the first book in the new series in late February while picking up another book I had reserved solely because of the blurbs on the dust jacket.  London Falling is at its heart a crime novel about a detective inspector, two undercover cops and an analyst racing against time to stop a child killer.  Personally I would have been interested in the novel based on that plot alone but Cornell offers up a little something extra.  Early in the investigation the team is accidentally given the “gift” of the Sight, a talent that allows for a look at the “real” London: the creatures, the ghosts, etc.

The sequel The Severed Streets continues a few months after the conclusion of the first book and continues to follow the team as they both try to come to terms with this ability and find a way to use it appropriately to solve crimes that would otherwise be impossible to crack.  This time they fall into a case where a mysterious figure appears to be using protests to murder the rich and powerful.  As with any good sequel the stakes are raised for the team while they still are learning to trust each other yet butt heads along the way as personal goals clash with team objectives.  Also this book sports an appearance by another amazing author in a role that I personally did not expect.

The books feel very much like something that could be a show on BBC and in fact I believe the novels were born out of a treatment for a Moffat produced series that never came to light.

I would love to say more about these novels but I feel that by delving any deeper into the plots I’d risk spoiling the great fun to be found in reading them.

Check them out though if:

  • You enjoy crime novels.
  • You are a fan of the supernatural.
  • You enjoy “secret city” novels like Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • You are a fan of BBC programming like Luther, Doctor Who or Torchwood.


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