REVIEW - Poison City by Paul Crilley

Title: Poison City

Author: Paul Crilley

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Release Date: 11th August 2016

Source: ARC

The name's Gideon Tau, but everyone just calls me London. I work for the Delphic Division, the occult investigative unit of the South African Police Service. My life revolves around two things - finding out who killed my daughter and imagining what I'm going to do to the bastard when I catch him.

I have two friends. The first is my boss, Armitage, a fifty-something DCI from Yorkshire who looks more like someone's mother than a cop. Don't let that fool you. The second is the dog, my magical spirit guide. He talks, he watches TV all day, and he's a mean drunk.

Life is pretty routine - I solve crimes, I search for my daughter's killer. Wash, rinse, repeat. Until the day I'm called out to the murder of a ramanga - a low-key vampire - basically, the tabloid journalist of the vampire world. It looks like an open and shut case. There's even CCTV footage of the killer.

Except... the face on the CCTV footage? It's the face of the man who killed my daughter. I'm about to face a tough choice. Catch her killer or save the world? I can't do both.

It's not looking good for the world.

Poison City is the first in a fantastical new series for fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Lauren Beukes, Sarah Lotz and Stephen King.
Any book that features a talking, bitching, wise ass, slightly magical drunk dog will automatically get upon my reading list, I mean what is not to love?  In fact I would go as far to say as the dog needs a spin off series. He is awesome.

Anyway its not all dog related,  he has of course an owner/partner/skivvy, Gideon Tau.  A policeman who has upped sticks from London town (London is also his nickname) to South Africa, Durban to be exact.  He is not a run of the mill copper, he works for the Delphic Division who deal with all things occult.  

Tau can wield magic or shinecraft as it is called in the book which  I personally think sounds kinda cool.  His days are spent dealing with the magical scum of the Earth and trying to solve a case that is very personal to him - the murder of his daughter.

His daughter's death understandably has really screwed him up and he is trying to uncover what happened to her, who is responsible for taking her from him.

But before he can continue with that there is the small matter of a Ramanga (what is a Ramanga?, well the book describes it wonderfully as a low-key vampire - basically, the tabloid journalist of the vampire world) who has been murdered and the killer turns out to be the main suspect in his daughters murder.  

Things are not open and shut however, a whole heap of other mystical, magical dudes are hell bent on giving Gideon a very bad day.  His daughters killer might have to wait a bit.

Now I haven't read many books set in South Africa but straight away I fell in love with it, Paul Crilley has painted it so vividly and it isn't just the setting, the characters are excellent too.  Of course I have already mentioned my love for the dog but another mention has to go to Armitage, Tau's boss who is from Yorkshire and every time she spoke in the book I heard her as a mixture of all the ladies from Last of the Summer Wine.  She is a bit more badass than Nora Batty - younger/non Brit readers may need to Google this comparison.  

This book was fantastic, it was funny, it was smart, it was enchanting and it was one heck of a read, quite frankly I loved it, it sucks you in straight away and has a good mix of menace and magic too.

I highly recommend it.

Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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  1. Yeah, that dog really has it cinched for me! I love the term "shinecraft", too. Thanks for the review. I have not seen this book anywhere else, and would not have known about it. :)

  2. You had me at "talking, bitching, wise ass, slightly magical drunk dog " <--- LIKE YES PLEASE. I'm reading a book with a completely sassy smartass talking horse right now and loving it.😂 I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Heather!!

  3. I am glad to hear you liked this book. I don't know if I could deal with a talking dog. Entertaining review anyways.

  4. Your description of the dog makes me curious, I love it when animals/ pets also play a part in books. Shinecraft sounds like a nice term for magic, it sounds magical and shiny. And that's awesome the setting came alive as well. Great review!


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