The Wolves Of London
A Locke worth picking
Release Date: OUT NOW!
352 pages | Paperback/ ebook Author: Mark Morris Publisher: Titan Books
Magical London is so hot right now. While Ben Aaronovitch and Paul Cornell are penning supernatural detective stories, Mark Morris’s new trilogy looks at things from the other side of the law. His hero Alex Locke is an ex- con, dragged back into the underworld for the inevitably fateful “one last job” – stealing the mysterious Obsidian Heart. It should be a simple task, but he hasn’t counted on the Wolves of London – a supernatural gang who leave a trail of carnage in their wake.
We’re on familiar territory here. As well as the current swathe of urban fantasy novels, there are echoes of Barker’s Weaveworld and Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Morris’s approach is more grounded in the everyday – his magic is halfglimpsed and bloody – but there’s a strong sense of déjà vu. The book also suffers from a slightly aimless middle section.
Still, Locke is a compelling character. He’s not the usual “rough diamond” cliché, but an intelligent man who made a bad mistake as a kid and has spent the rest of his life paying for it. He’s sympathetic – as is Clover, a femme fatale archetype who’s quickly revealed to be someone far more layered and believable. It’s the likeability of the leads and your hope that things will work out okay for them that keeps the pages turning, rather than the magic.
Morris is a massive Doctor Who fan. His favourite story is “The Talons Of WengChiang”; his most hated is “Timelash”.