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The Severed Streets Hardcover – May 20, 2014

23 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Shadow Police Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Detective Inspector Quill’s special squad is dedicated to “standing against the powers of darkness,” though they are careful not to advertise that mission to those unaware of London’s occult underbelly. This makes for some tricky operations in this sequel to London Calling (2013), as Quill and his team must continually justify their unorthodox investigation into a series of impossible Ripper-style murders. An impending police strike and a string of political riots obscure the case’s true nature; the only certainty is that although the Sight might let them see danger approaching, it doesn’t protect them from it. Cornell brings a dry, understated wit to this supernatural crime procedural without lessening the impact of its graphic violence and horror, though repeat cameos by Neil Gaiman may distract from its verisimilitude. Cornell better differentiates his four troubled narrators as their personal story lines diverge: Ross and Costain are in competition to acquire a rare magical device, Sefton is haunted by accidentally causing a death, and Quill’s own research takes him all the way to hell for answers. This series has endless potential, and new readers can confidently start with either volume. --Krista Hutley

About the Author

PAUL CORNELL is a British writer best known for his work in television drama, most notably for Doctor Who. Three of his Doctor Who episodes have been nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. He has written several Doctor Who spin-off novels, and created the character Beatrice Summerfield. He has also written for Marvel Comics and DC Comics, and had two original novels published.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (May 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765330288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765330284
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. C. Kinder on August 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a good sequel to London Falling. Paul Cornell has a real ear for presenting police work, the characters are becoming ever more distinct, and the "world building" (a term I am really starting to dislike, but don't have a better phrase for) is both unique and compelling. But these books, and particularly The Severed Streets, are grim. GRIM. GRRM level GRIM. It's hard to talk about what makes it so grim without venturing into spoiler territory, but just... trust me on this.

The plot flows well, the story is well written, and you do absolutely want to make it to the end of the book. For all that, the experience left me exhausted. The amount of misery heaped on the protagonists is so great that you feel miserable too. So, good book in that it is interesting, well written and very creative. Bad book in that it makes you feel terrible by the end, or at least it did for me. No doubt a very talented, creative author, and I will be interested in seeing where he goes with this series. Hopefully to a happier place.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Liz Wilkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Thank you SO much to the author and publisher for the netgalley review copy.

Summer in London: a city in turmoil. The vicious murder of a well-known MP is like a match to tinder but Detective Inspector James Quill and his team know that it’s not a run-of-the-mill homicide. Still coming to terms with their new-found second sight, they soon discover that what is invisible to others – the killer – is visible to them. Even if they have no idea who it is.

Its hell out there…and was in my house when people tried to interrupt my reading while I was in this one. Ever since I read “London Falling” I had been dying to get back into the world of Quill et al and it was worth every minute of the wait.

I love Urban Fantasy and I especially love it when its done this well. The world and the people inhabiting it having been so well established in the first book ,this was easy to dive straight back into, and from the opening few paragraphs I knew I was going to be hooked. When an unseen killer strikes and an innocent man is at risk, Quill and team take a closer look – and with their particular brand of vision see what others do not. So begins a rip roaring adventure, some edge of the seat moments and a wonderfully addictive reading experience.

The one thing I do adore about these particular books is that they are very definitely aimed at and written for adults, but without feeling the need to say “hey look at all the swearing and stuff look how grown up I am” – and hey we’ve all read books like that – in this its just adult characters put in untenable situations and reacting in realistic ways, even with the paranormal and fantasy elements.
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Format: Kindle Edition
4.5 stars, actually.

Okay, so if you haven't read the other reviews and don't know about the surprise appearance of a real life person (famous author) fictionalized in this book (as I didn't) then I don't want to spoil the lovely surprise of finding out one of the main witnesses (and sources of exposition about magical London) is...suffice it to say that it was a PERFECT person to choose.

And very cool.

Fangirling now over, this book continues London Policeman James Quill and his scooby gang of special investigators who were given the "sight" in the first book. This time someone seems to be using the ghost of Jack the Ripper to take out important politicians, and its up to Quill and the gang to stop them. Meanwhile, Ross is still looking for a magical artifact to save her father, and all of them are finding out more and more about the relationship between Hell and London.

The book is mostly dialogue-- Paul Cornell is funny, bittersweet, slangy, and at times this rapid flow of dialogue left me a little vague about what was being said (I'm American). The book assumes you are as culturally immersed in London culture as the characters who live there, so sometimes I felt like I was missing the joke, or the leap of logic the characters made during the dialogue.

This series kind of reads like a Criminal Minds/CSI London with magic crossover. Lots of police interviewing, evidence sifting, and theorizing. With a dash of magical Ripper murders thrown in. But Paul Cornell ties it all together masterfully at the end both with Ross' personal quest, Quill's fate, and the secret behind what the Ripper actually is.

Excellently entertaining, engaging characters, British slangy police drama with bonus famous author character and magic thrown in. Definitely recommended, but only if you have read the first in the series first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl M-M on November 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the second in the James Quill series.I wasn't really keen on the beginning of the book, the few pages before the murder of the politician.I found them a wee bit confusing and lacking clarity, which isn't always a good way to draw potential readers in.
Fortunately Cornell gets to the nitty-gritty darkness fairly quickly.
His Sci-Fi plot weaving is mixed with police procedural story-lines, which makes sense when you consider his background as a Dr. Who scribe. He also uses the historical backdrop and urban myths associated with London.

Cornell seems to enjoy the quagmire of despair, suffering and pain when it comes to his characters, especially the good guys. Lots of bleak moments for them unfortunately. Hopefully, as the series progresses some of them will get some lucky mojo come their way.
I know the fact he has Neil Gaiman play a role in his story is a bit of topic in reviewing circles, however I think it was more of a nudge nudge wink wink move, perhaps because elements of the first James Quill book London Falling was compared to Gaiman's work.
It will be interesting to see where Cornell takes this series and his eclectic combination of genres.
I received a copy of this via NetGalley.
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