This sequel to “The Clown Service” picks up Toby Greene’s career in Section 37 of the SIS, protecting the Queen’s realm from preternatural threats.
This case involves protection of a diplomatic meeting. When several key negotiators die suddenly in bizarre “accidents”, Section 37 is called in. This was a smart move, because it is quickly apparent that, whether the powers that be want to acknowledge it or not, something preternatural is afoot.
Section 37 and its rather shaggy collection of helpers must solve the mystery, even as the casualties mount and dark forces press hard.
The story is light and fast moving, regardless of the supposed “dark horrors” and the too numerous nasty deaths. The plot isn’t especially logical, but then the preternatural is scarcely bound by our usual reasoning or intuition, is it?
One of the tactics of the enemy appears to be a potent spell that puts people back in the worst day of their own life. This device lets Adams provide us some back story for many of the characters, revealing some of their deepest and most shameful secrets.
Everyone has a secrets, and no one wants to live through their worst day a second time. The good news is that most of them do a lot better on their second try, no matter how disastrous the original experience was.
Not everyone is killed or sucked into another dimension, and things are somewhat straightened out by the end, though it is abundantly clear that there must be a sequel.
- Guy Adams, The Rain Soaked Bride, St. Ives, Del Ray, 2014.
Sunday Book Reviews