The Midnight Mayor
Orbit, Mar 8 2010, $19.99
Matthew Swift was a sorcerer who would have been better off dead, which he believes he once was; as he muses that the Terminator and the Knights Templar would have quit if they had to deal with the ‘electric blue angels’ buzzing inanely inside his brain. Unless you are a voyeur, who wants to listen in on some puke talking sex over a telephone? Alas, the once proud sorcerer is back with his head aching from telephone lines, and electronic gizmos.
However, having the buzz inside his head pales when he learns someone or perhaps something assassinated the powerful protector of London, The Midnight Mayor. The Aldermen, aware that someone of power committed the atrocity, accuse Swift. His first thought is flight, but he decides to investigate instead. He quickly realizes the invincible eternal magical wards that keep the city safe are being breached. London Wall has cryptic graffiti on it and the Tower ravens are dead. Each step he takes he uncovers a greater nightmare as Swift considers flight again as his conclusion is not very comforting.
The Midnight Mayor is a strange refreshing urban fantasy starring a reluctant hero whose inquiry into what is going on and by who or perhaps better said as what makes for a fine thriller. The whodunit is cleverly devised as Swift finds wards failing while dodging a female human assassin who loathes sorcerers and their ilk. Complicated and not an easy read, Kate Griffin provides sub-genre fans with a deep tale of magic failing with ironically the only individual who might save the city is a target for death by those he is trying to protect.