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London Falling | [Paul Cornell]

London Falling

Detective Inspector James Quill is about to complete the drugs bust of his career. Then his prize suspect, Rob Toshack, is murdered in custody. Furious, Quill pursues the investigation, co-opting intelligence analyst Lisa Ross and undercover cops Costain and Sefton. But nothing about Toshack’s murder is normal. Toshack had struck a bargain with a vindictive entity, whose occult powers kept Toshack one step ahead of the law - until his luck ran out. Now, the team must find a 'suspect' who can bend space and time and alter memory itself. And they will kill again.
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Publisher's Summary

The dark is rising....

Detective Inspector James Quill is about to complete the drugs bust of his career. Then his prize suspect, Rob Toshack, is murdered in custody. Furious, Quill pursues the investigation, co-opting intelligence analyst Lisa Ross and undercover cops Costain and Sefton. But nothing about Toshack’s murder is normal.

Toshack had struck a bargain with a vindictive entity, whose occult powers kept Toshack one step ahead of the law - until his luck ran out. Now, the team must find a 'suspect' who can bend space and time and alter memory itself. And they will kill again.

As the group starts to see London’s sinister magic for themselves, they have two choices: panic or use their new abilities. Then they must hunt a terrifying supernatural force the only way they know how: using police methods, equipment, and tactics. But they must all learn the rules of this new game - and quickly. More than their lives will depend on it.

Paul Cornell has written some of Doctor Who's best-loved episodes for the BBC. He has also written on a number of comic book series for Marvel and DC, including X-Men and Batman and Robin. He has been Hugo Award nominated for his work in TV, comics, and prose, and won the BSFA award for his short fiction. London Falling is his first urban fantasy novel.

©2013 Paul Cornell (P)2014 Audible Studios

What the Critics Say

"He's gone and written a novel too! I suspect it will be just as good as everything else he's written, and that's not fair at all." (George R R Martin)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (175 )
5 star
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4.0 (162 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tango Texas 05-03-15
    Tango Texas 05-03-15

    Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Team Quill"

    I was a little hesitant to pick up one more urban noir fantasy set in London having already read Peter Grant, Alex Verus, Felix Castor, and Courts of Feyre - all UNF series set in or around London. However, London is 2000 years old and packed with history so I finally decided the city could probably support one more. Good decision, me! After listening to London Falling, I decided that London actually could support several more UNF series if there are more writers like Paul Cornell.

    The Publisher's Summary is quite sufficient to give you a flavor of this tale and get you started, however, I will note an explanation of one thing that confused me at the outset in case it might help someone else. The story begins with two detectives, Costain and Sefton, undercover attempting to bust a mob boss, Rob Toshack. DI James Quill (Costain's and Sefton's boss) has a brief meeting with Costain in a men's room to give him instructions. The very beginning of the book was a bit confusing to me because I didn't quite understand who were the bad guys, who were the police, and how they were interacting. Part of this is because Damian Lynch uses a very authentic accent for the seedier types of London, which nicely sets the tone of the book, but makes for a challenge for American ears. You have to get the rhythm of that accent before you can really understand what is being said and who is saying it. I would encourage you to stay with it, because once you get clear (it only takes about 15 minutes), this gritty, history-soaked tale really takes off.

    There are several things in this series that make it unique and bear special mention:

    1. I like urban noir fantasy, especially when the dark stories are offset a bit with humor and good characters. London Falling has both - no LOL, but lots of wry, ironic moments and believable, fleshed out characters.

    2. Unlike most UNF, there is no one central wizard, mage, or necromancer. If fact, in the beginning, there are no magic-wielders on the protagonist side at all. Each of the four central protagonists has a backstory that draws him/her into the mystery and each has certain talents that are enhanced and informed by one moment that the four share while trying to solve the case. From that point, although Quill is "in charge", the four members of the team are equal and essential to the resolution of the mystery. So, this is a "team" series rather than another "lone wolf" escapade.

    3. London Falling is very dark and truly gritty. Unlike several authors I have read recently, Cornell seems to understand that gritty and vulgar are not synonyms. There isn't much coarse language or lewdness in London Falling, but there is a deep creepiness that makes London Falling read more like some horror mysteries than like other UNF novels.

    I have continued this series with the next book, The Severed Streets, and there were lots more surprises and another story utilizing the loooooong, crazy history of London. And, once you adjust your ears to Damian Lynch, I think you'll enjoy this narrator, too.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Hall Olympia, WA United States 03-15-15
    Michael Hall Olympia, WA United States 03-15-15 Member Since 2013

    mtbikermike

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    "One of the best books I've heard!"
    What did you love best about London Falling?

    The character development of our four "heroes" was just wonderful. I felt like I really understood what made them tick, even in the bizarre supernatural world that they discovered. In the middle of incredible and incomprehensible events, I cared and cheered for these people.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Somehow this impossible world became plausible. I think it's very, very difficult for an author to maintain any credibility while writing about the supernatural - but this book does it. The plot held water in a way that built suspense and was immensely satisfying at the end.


    What about Damian Lynch’s performance did you like?

    He has a sort of halting style that was a little distracting at first, but quickly it became just right for the story because it gave me a bit of time to think between phrases. This can be a tough story to follow but the narrator helped make it work. Plus, of course, his accent is brilliant!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Its British-ness was wonderful to hear! I am one of the countless American anglo-philes out there; this book was written for Brits alone so I had to work to understand some of the language that was used. A labor of love!


    Any additional comments?

    Can't WAIT to listen to the sequel.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andreas 01-05-15
    Andreas 01-05-15
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    "Coopers meets the occult; interesting clash"

    Couldn't stop listening. As a fan of the Dresden Files and Iron Druid and the like this was different in a good way, being more serious and a tad darker.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Everett, WA, United States 02-06-15
    Eric Everett, WA, United States 02-06-15 Member Since 2015
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    "English horror mystery"

    This is a very good book to listen to however I will say due to the english accent you might find yourself listening to it more than once. It has a Stephen King feel to it so it does hurry to develop the story. But once your into this book I believe you will really love this story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bartleby 03-18-15
    Bartleby 03-18-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Good gritty Urban Fantasy"

    Good gritty Urban Fantasy with an homage to Lovecraft's Dreams in a Witch House.
    Excellently developed characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 04-29-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a darker British cop version of the dresden files"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    i have wanted to read this since it was released in the uk. Now i have and love it's dark yet funny tone .


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    the cat i don't really have a reason


    Any additional comments?

    where is the second book

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C H Miller London 06-21-15
    C H Miller London 06-21-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Detective story turned supernatural"

    What seems a routine sardonic crime story turns supernatural, with a 400-year-old witch who can make people forget their children. Weird, but well done, with excellent narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth MIAMI, FL, United States 05-19-15
    Ruth MIAMI, FL, United States 05-19-15 Member Since 2014

    Rue

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    "Boring, hard to follow"

    No where near as fun or action packed as the "Monster Hunters international" stories by Larry Correia or as interesting and funny as Ben Aaronovitch's PC Grant stories.
    LF started out VERY Slow. In my opinion, story was boring and hard to follow; all the characters "sounded" the same,!which made the story hard to follow. Will not be listening to anything by Paul Cornell anytime in the near future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer San Francisco, CA, United States 01-12-15
    Amazon Customer San Francisco, CA, United States 01-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Like Luther with Witchcraft"

    Awesome. Really, just a London cop story with an added creepy, horrible, baby-boiling witch. I loved how these sensible, gritty undercover cops learn to deal with the crazy world they've been thrown into. They approach it with the tools they have and do a great job.
    Loved the narrator. He did a great job brining these colorful characters to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    zorn 01-01-15
    zorn 01-01-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Good story! Glad I took a chance!"

    Took a chance and new book. Not disappointed. I thought it ran a little bit long. But overall I enjoyed it greatly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • James
    Mansfield, United Kingdom
    5/4/14
    Overall
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    Story
    "A cracking book"

    If you liked Rivers of London, London Revenant or the Jack Nightingale books you will like this one, its a new slant on the urban supernatural thriller with elements of a police Procedural and who done it, with realistic flawed characters.
    Damian Lynch gives a really good performance.

    I will certainly be looking forward to the next book in this series "the Severed Streets"

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Richard Irwin
    Wiltshire, England
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What the devil?"
    If you could sum up London Falling in three words, what would they be?

    Magical horror squad


    What did you like best about this story?

    Highly unconventional and was kept in suspense by a very unusual tale.


    What does Damian Lynch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Good pace, but let down by too many similarities between accents of key players so I kept forgetting who was gay and straight. Horror scenes not really scary as they should be.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really, needed to have a break between some of the horror scenes.


    Any additional comments?

    Fans of West Ham should probably avoid ;-)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ieva
    Babite, Latvia
    6/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much of everything.."

    I can only agree to some of other reviews - the story line sounds too familiar and it is quite hard to get in to the story at first. If you are a fan of Ben Aaronovitch and expect something like Rivers of London there might be a disappointment. For my taste there is too much of everything - witch sanctifying children according the football scores, talking cats and time travel, even a hint of free masonry... If with Aaronovitch`s books one actually starts to believe the story and it positively drags you in, then with this story you just do not believe. I had to force to listen until the end, just out of curiosity how it shall end.
    The performance though is very impressive.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    Inerness, United Kingdom
    5/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good listen."

    Was a good listen and I liked the story,. I have listened to Rivers of London and a couple that came after and this seemed very similar - perhaps its a Genre thing. It is a good and well written story and is enjoyable, but it was so close to Rivers of London themes for me I couldn't quite get into it as much as I would have liked.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Rikey
    4/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great find."
    Would you listen to London Falling again? Why?

    Yes I'd read it again. I struggled a little to get into the story at the very beginning but am SO glad I stuck with it. I really did enjoy it and intend to go straight back and start again now that I know the characters. If you find yourself in the same situation I urge you to keep going, you won't regret it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of London Falling?

    Quill's revelation.


    What does Damian Lynch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Well read and with lots of character.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    You know it's a great book when you find yourself frozen, fork half way to your mouth mid meal, totally transported.


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait for book two.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    East Sussex, United Kingdom
    1/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    ""I p1$$ on your West Ham.""

    Black and funny. Came across this by accident and nearly had an accident because of it. Laughing at the line above whilst out running got me to within inches of planting my face along a path.
    Will rounded characters, none built to like unquestioningly.
    And plot mixing London and magic is bound to cross over other books but there are piles of originality and inventiveness with a fine example element of darkness here to separate it from Rivers of London and the like.
    Now like the rest of the box set /Netflix generation, I want more, now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kitty
    7/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I can't wait for book 2"
    Any additional comments?

    I found this quite difficult to get into at first but I'm glad I stuck with it. The tension is on from the first chapter and I listened to the whole thing over a weekend. The book is both a satisfying crime thiller and a thouroughly enjoyable fantasy adventure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Enfield, United Kingdom
    9/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great stuff, dark and scary"
    If you could sum up London Falling in three words, what would they be?

    dark and scary


    What did you like best about this story?

    the real world crashed into the other world in a very believable way....seeing I am an atheist....but it scared me.
    I like the ability to use real cop planning to catch an unreal person


    Which character – as performed by Damian Lynch – was your favourite?

    mora.....his narrations of her speaking was nightmarish


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    made me scared


    Any additional comments?

    2nd books are never as good, I hope the 2nd one is as good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    8/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "spell of energy and a hell of a read."

    enjoyed this story immensely. the characters are too many to start with but once you settle in and get to know who's who it's a fantastic fast delivery of great storyline.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR S M NORRIS
    7/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Story, Narration took some getting used to."

    The story poses an exciting start to the series and made me want to listen to more. It was intially hard to place each of the characters due to the similar voices and rapidly changing viewpoints.

    Overall would recommend, like a darker version of the Ben Aaronovitch PC Grant series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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