*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author, and Louise Walters of Louise Walters Books. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: On the night of Samhain, the veil between worlds is at its thinnest, and ancient magic runs wild in Old London.
When Lady Bergamon is attacked in her Ivy Street garden, Wishearth turns to Yannia Wilde for help. Who could have the power to harm Lady Bergamon in her own domain? While Yannia searches for the answer, nature herself appears to be killing Mages in Old London. Yannia and Karrion join forces with New Scotland Yard to solve the baffling Mage deaths. But wherever they turn, all the clues point back towards Ivy Street.
Yannia’s abilities are put to the test as she races to save Lady Bergamon’s life, and prevent further murders. But with the lines between friends and enemies blurring, she must decide who to trust and how much she’s willing to sacrifice for Old London and its inhabitants…
This third book in the Wilde Investigations series is the best yet.
Rich with the scents, sounds and colours of the wild world, the reader is immersed in the everyday magic of bird flight and vine growth, whilst threatened by the natural darkness of rot and decay, suffering and death.
I recommend reading books one and two in the series first, as you will get a clearer picture of Yannia’s precarious perch between the urban world of Old London and her investigative work and the Folk ways of blood and balance. Also, they are bloody good books!
Dearon and the Conclave take a back seat here, and Laura Laakso gives more prominence to some of her most intriguing side characters as Wishearth and Lady Bergamon play a pivotal part in the latest case.
Yannia and Karrion must try to save Lady Bergamon from a mysterious intruder that has incapacitated her and is destroying her garden, whilst trying to find out who is killing mages in increasingly cruel and unusual ways. Ways that all seem to lead straight back to said garden and its plant-magic protector. Both Yannia and Karrion are forced to question their instincts as they struggle to decide who they can really trust, especially when a trip across borders leads to negotiations directly with the dangerous Fey.
Laakso’s writing is beautiful and immerses you deeply in Yannia’s world of dark woods and darker streets, so that you can almost taste the copper tang of blood and frost on your tongue as you read. Her characters are complex and their relationships are deep and as infinitely tangled as in our own world, with no easy ‘love interest’ match-up, but plenty of deep love and loyalty nonetheless.
The mixture of P.I. crime investigation and fae fantasy is perfectly balanced, as is the blend of the personal and professional as Yannia attempts to find her own path in life between old and new, city and woods, family and friends, protect and survive.
Straight to the top of my favourite books for 2020 and I am already counting down the days until book four…!
The crack of a log in the fireplace startles me awake from dreams filled with hunt, chase and fresh blood. My eyes fly open, but even before my surroundings register, I become aware of a presence. Adrenaline courses through me, heralding a familiar fear, but it subsides when I catch the soothing scent of wood smoke. Blinking in the restless light of the fire, I find Wishearth crouched on the hearth stones. The tail of his coat rests on a burning log, but does not catch fire. His face is a landscape of deep shadows and orange highlights.
‘Lady Bergamon needs you,’ he says, none of the usual lightness present in his voice. ‘She needs you now.’
– Laura Laakso, Roots of Corruption