Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Shadow Of The Soul - Sarah Pinborough

Book Details

Book Title: The Shadow Of The Soul

Author: Sarah Pinborough

Publisher
: Gollancz 2011

Source: Library :D

Page Count: 390

Format: Paperback

Genre: Dark Crime/Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi

Audience: Those who love dark fantasy horror and crime books!

Summed up in one word: Consistent


First Impression: This being part 2 of a trilogy I was going in aware of the main characters, the setting and the themes... That didn't count for much here as SP kept the same basic outline but everything else within was fresh and taken in a new direction with a new bunch of characters and new set of rules to play by.

Summary Of The Story:

London is shaken to its very core by a series of bombings that have targeted busy public transport routes. As the Prime Minister and her party scramble to get ahead of all this terror by working with intelligence agencies to find the culprits they all come to the same conclusion... One man was responsible for the entire execution of this attack. This terrorist was not only in multiple locations in London, he also managed to be in Moscow and New York for other attacks at the same time. 

Cass Jones is back, it is 6 months after the events of the last book and he is finally getting back on his feet. With Christian finally put to rest and his ex-wife gone Cass only has work and a new partner to fill the void and keep him going. Armstrong is young, tenacious and pushes Cass harder then others have before him. Cass has a full plate straight of the bat. 6 young teen suicides, all accompanied by the distinct catchphrase 'Chaos in the darkness'. A letter from Christian with the words 'They took Luke' inside (Luke being Christian's real son taken at birth). And to top it off, one of the Prime minister's body guard has gone A.W.O.L after a supposed threat to the PM's life, and Cass is recruited to find her.

In a typical Sarah Pinborough fashion, everything is knitted together in some way, and all Cass has to do is pick at the thread an watch everything slowly unravel before him. This elaborate scheme includes the elusive Mr Bright and a new host of characters that make up the Inner Cohort, high level members of an organisation called The Bank. With a new gang of characters called The Interventionists in the mix who are there to keep the balance in this conflict, events soon heat up and Cass feels the burn.

My Review:

I will start this review with my biggest impression, though this is a great bridge novel to the hopefully epic finale, I found it did not have that powerful and overwhelming shock and awe of its predecessor. It does keep the characters fresh and sets up some great new characters for the next instalment, though it was more comfortable and easier to digest. I came back for more challenging themes and WTF! moments but maybe SP has saved the best for last. Anyway...

The new story is just as complex, mind boggling and expertly weaved as the first one, though this time round SP went for consistency over potency. This means that I enjoyed it over all but it doesn't stick in mind my like some of the moments included in the first instalment. The political sections were necessary but also unnecessary at the same time, as those bits combined with the new Inner Cohort sections were over confusing for a simple guy like myself. Thankfully the Cass suicide sections and the search for Luke up the ante and we start to see Cass evolving and deteriorating simultaneously. We are left at the end with everything completely shattered/ruined and I am excited to see where we go from here.

In terms of characters. the usual suspects have not changed that much. Cass is still a one man army, Mr Bright is still clouded in mystery (we do see a little more of him this time round) and Josh the pathologist is back and in a bigger role. New characters include Armstrong who is Cass' new partner, he is more involved and more pushy than his last partner as he likes to step over the barrier between boss and employee. The Inner Cohort is full of evil. Finally the biggest new entry is Abigail Porter who is a body guard to the Prime Minister. Abigail is the most diverse character in this book. Covert, cold, caring(ish..) Abigail has a hard time juggling her job, her role in the bigger picture and the suicide of her sister. Each character meshes well in this dense tapestry and no one is out of place. I guess we will learn more about the Interventionists later on...

Overall it is a decent second entry and I am really looking forward to the finale, which I have in my to read pile already :D if you enjoy dark crime with horror elements then this is for you. If you like deep intricate story lines that connect several plot pieces then this is for you. If you like happy, up lifting and feel good thrills then...cat videos???..

7/10

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