by E.E. Richardson
Series: Ritual Crimes Unit #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy (police procedural)
Setting: An alternate North Yorkshire, England
Published by Abbadon, 2015
Synopsis: A hard-nosed career officer in the male-dominated world of British policing, DCI Claire Pierce of North Yorkshire Police heads Northern England’s underfunded and understaffed Ritual Crime Unit. Injured in the line of duty, Pierce returns to work to find her new Detective Inspector has brought in a self-proclaimed necromancer to question the victim of a murder, there’s a coven of druids outside protesting the sale of their sacred site, and an old iron lantern in the evidence room has just sent out a signal.
Pierce is going to have to hit the ground running. A suspected ritual murder and a string of puzzling artefact thefts initially seem unconnected, but signs point to something bigger: buried skulls possessed by evil spirits start turning up, and they may only be the beginning. Someone is planning something big, and the consequences if they succeed could be catastrophic. With a rebellious second-in-command, an inexperienced team, and a boss who only cares about potential bad publicity, Pierce has to make the connections and stop the ritual before it’s too late…
The problem with being married to your work was that eventually there came a point when you had to get a messy divorce. Pierce grimaced as she climbed the stairs up to the RCU. She might be out of shape from her time off, but at almost fifty-five, there was a limit to the shape she could get back into.
Even in these twenty-first century days of global information networks, magic was still too difficult to reproduce and too deeply surrounded by fakery and bullshit to have more than a trial-and-error approach to understanding what it could do. The only training they could give their people was to toss them in at the deep end and hope they either swam or clawed their way out without drowning.
- The first in this series was a novella so this is the first full length novel.
- I like the series. It’s a combination of a gritty police procedural in a fantasy world of necromancers, ritual murders, druids, magic and more.
- These books remind me a little of the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch which also combines police procedural with urban fantasy. I think these books are darker though.
- I like DCI Pierce. She’s a little older than most protagonists, sometimes grumpy, quite cynical. But she’s portrayed realistically. She’s not the fastest or toughest, but she doesn’t give up. She feels all the aches and pains an older body feels when that body gets knocked down or is in a fight! She is just getting back after having been stabbed in the shoulder in her last major case.
- The Ritual Crimes Unit (RCU) is perennially underfunded and undermanned.
- After their last case the RCU had two people seriously injured and one killed.
- DCI Pierce returns from sick leave and she has a new boss (the old boss supposedly retired), plus three new members of her team. And she’s not sure after the last case (which ended in disaster for her team) who she can trust anymore.
- The world building is interesting, because the magic system the world is dealing with is quite mysterious. The author doesn’t give much background into whether magic has always been in this world or if it’s a new thing. That doesn’t really matter to me. The book tells us what we need to know and we know about as much as the police.
- Some of the people in the book are scary; the things they do are scary; the things DCI Pierce thinks might have happened are scary. All in all I didn’t read this book at night–even with my husband home…lol.
- I thought DCI Pierce should have figured out some things quicker.
And a few thoughts . . .
- I’m hoping there will be more in this series. There’s not much information about the author and nothing I could find about future books.
Have you read this book? How did you like it?
- 2015 Goodreads Challenge
- Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
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- Ultimate Reading Challenge–hosted by the Popsugar blog (a book that scares you)