Cornell, Paul -- London Falling

Modern-era London police detectives with magic. This makes a nice counterpoise to Ben Aaronovitch's books. Like those, this one is firmly grounded in real-life copper procedure (and politics, and culture). Unlike those (but like Kate Griffin's books) magic is omnipresent, overwhelming, and utterly outside the framework of natural law. Once you see magic -- and it sees you -- you're running on guesswork, intuition, your own fears, and half-remembered fairy tales. Controlled experiments on magic are not the way through. (But good old police work just might be.)

Unlike most urban fantasy, this is outright horror. The protagonists are way out of their league, ass-deep in nightmares. They're all damaged in everyday life to begin with (again, unlike Aaronovitch's innocent-bystander-cop characters) and the supernatural goes right for the weak spots. I don't read a lot of pure horror but this is what it does well -- character portrayal via firewalk. So, definitely disturbing in places, but a great start to a series.

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