No witches were burnt in the writing of this tale, although the Queen was a little singed at the edges.’ Ceri Edwards and two school friends lift the lid on an ancient book of recipes belonging to Betty Williams, a volunteer at the local hospital in Pontypridd, South Wales. Two Kansas City cops step off a flight at London Heathrow and one of them falls to the ground with a painful conviction that there’s something evil in the air. United in their destinies, Ceri and the police officers are drawn into a world where prophecies are pitted against invisible forces planning to raze London to the ground and bring down the Royal Family. It all rests with Dai Williams, recently knighted MI5 agent and reluctant hero, to bring some order to the improbable events and to ensure that afternoon tea at The Ritz continues for another hundred years. A great cross between Kim Newman and Ben Aaranovitch and a thrill for any fan of contemporary urban horror.
This story deals with the aftermath of The Screaming, helping add key dimensions to characters of which we have already been introduced. These include Dale Franklin, Steve Abrams, Dai Williams, and the Queen.
Now at first I struggled with the opening of the book. It just didn’t grab me like the screaming had, I mean I couldn’t put that book down. However as this book progressed I found myself turning each page with ease my mind racing to keep up with the darkness within plot lines. Each character viewpoint adding more mystery and intrigue, from Dale’s Ma Bell which helps him sense danger on the horizon to the Queen’s ability to look into people’s mind like some kind of female Professor Xavier. You cant help but be dragged along at neck break speed through the streets of London into a story line that could strike at the core of the royal family.
Now yes you may think here we go again another conspiracy theory with magic and abilities added just to give a different angle, but this is where I found myself going against what I usually think about these kind of stories. The reason being was because of how David presented his characters, adding both humor and comic value that will have you roaring with laughter. My personal favourite being how Dale senses trouble but I am not going to spoil the fun you will just have to read it.
I also have to mention my fondness of how our beloved queen is portrayed. I just couldn’t stop laughing during verses of her dialogue and scenes as David challenged everything we hold dear about our queen. From her enjoying a cheeky gin by the fire on a night, to her just wanting a normal conversation. David was able to do it with a great playfulness that would amuse any reader.
So the important question why should you read this book? Well if you like witches, telepathy, prophecies and the Queen been simply bad-ass then pick up this book because it had me in fits of laughter and for me you can’t beat a good laugh.
Thank you to Urbane Publications for my review copy. This does not effect my review. Publication of this book is Thursday 30th March so why not pick up a copy and enjoy it as much as I did.
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