|The Midnight Mayor is Kate Griffins
second book about the sorcerer Matthew Swift and this time I think she has hit her metier.
Swift is two entities in one: a sorcerer back from the dead, and the blue electric angels
of telephone static that brought him back. He is the man, with all his memories, and the
alchemical phenomenon that are the angels. And now, after answering the phone, he has
succeeded to the midnight mayoralty without believing in it nor knowing what its
purpose is and life isnt getting any easier because Mr Pinner (a man without
any scent whatsoever) wants to kill him.
I thought the first Matthew Swift book, A Madness of Angels, was merely
good. An interesting tale, a little bloated but competently told, with some new twists to
the expanding pool of British urban fantasy. The Midnight Mayor is head and
shoulders above its predecessor. The plotting is much tauter, with the barest of back
story from the first book, yet more urban fantasy twists, and a smaller cast of characters
that makes the whole story flow at a page turning clip.
And the writing! Rarely have I read a book where I have so enjoyed the language as
language. There were pages where I forgot the story and just luxuriated in the imagery,
the metaphor, the word-scapes of the scene as the Ms Griffin painted the story on the page
with words and phrases. This was English (in English) of a standard that I hadnt
read in a long time and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
So get yourself some Fullers ESB or London Pride, a punnet of shellfish or a decent
vindaloo and sit down to a cracking good yarn or the Aldermen will give you a solid
talking to, and neither Mr Swift nor you would want that; now would we?