POISON CITY Durban degeneration
released OUT NOW! 352 pages | Hardback/ebook Author Paul Crilley Publisher Hodder & stoughton
As urban fantasy novels go, Poison City is a solid example of the genre. The lead character, Gideon Tau, works as an investigator – specifically, for Delphic Division in Durban, South Africa. There’s a good selection of mythological creatures from a range of mythologies, from African gods to vampires to Abrahamic angels. There are crimes to be investigated, plucky secondary characters, and the usual smartmouthed comic relief (in this case, a urinating alcoholic Border Terrier that’s actually Tau’s spirit guide). While there’s nothing startlingly original about it, Poison City will suit readers of The Dresden Files or the Rivers Of London books right down to the ground.
It would have been good if the story felt more African – somehow, most of it feels as though the story could have been dropped into an LA or London setting with very little difficulty; little about it seems tied to its location. Similarly Tau is a little too much the stereotypical “cop with a tragic backstory”, an anyman for anywhere. There’s enough action and enough plot twists to make that acceptable in this initial volume. But if Tau’s adventures are to continue, he, and the books, will need to develop some depth. Miriam McDonald
Also out: Paul Crilley’s Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, a prose novel based on the Frank Miller comic.