The song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body—a sure sign that something about the man’s death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.
Body and soul—they’re also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace—one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard “Lord” Grant—otherwise known as Peter’s dear old dad.
This is the second installment of River’s of London where we first met Peter Grant the London police officer, who is also a wizard in training under Master Nightingale.
In this installment, there’s a mad-woman, vampire, supernatural creature killing off jazz music players. Peter’s job is to find out who the killer is, and deal with it as the situation requires.
Like the first novel, this is one is also humorous and quite engaging. But unlike the first installment, I was not as quickly taken into the story — maybe because the jokes appeared to be trying too hard, and Peter Grant himself seemed more arrogant and a little less likable — I’m not quite sure. This took me almost three weeks to read, whereas the first one was finished in a couple of days. Maybe it’s the curse of the sequel?
Having said that, the latter part of the story was quite good, especially since the magician called ‘The Faceless One’, the strongest magician since Nightingale, vanishes into the night. I am looking forward to seeing what’s next, so the story couldn’t have been all bad? And, it wasn’t.