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London Falling Audiobook

London Falling: The Shadow Police, Book One

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Publisher's Summary

The dark is rising....

Detective Inspector James Quill is about to complete the drugs bust of his career. Then his prize suspect, Rob Toshack, is murdered in custody. Furious, Quill pursues the investigation, co-opting intelligence analyst Lisa Ross and undercover cops Costain and Sefton. But nothing about Toshack’s murder is normal.

Toshack had struck a bargain with a vindictive entity, whose occult powers kept Toshack one step ahead of the law - until his luck ran out. Now, the team must find a 'suspect' who can bend space and time and alter memory itself. And they will kill again.

As the group starts to see London’s sinister magic for themselves, they have two choices: panic or use their new abilities. Then they must hunt a terrifying supernatural force the only way they know how: using police methods, equipment, and tactics. But they must all learn the rules of this new game - and quickly. More than their lives will depend on it.

Paul Cornell has written some of Doctor Who's best-loved episodes for the BBC. He has also written on a number of comic book series for Marvel and DC, including X-Men and Batman and Robin. He has been Hugo Award nominated for his work in TV, comics, and prose, and won the BSFA award for his short fiction. London Falling is his first urban fantasy novel.

©2013 Paul Cornell (P)2014 Audible Studios

What the Critics Say

"He's gone and written a novel too! I suspect it will be just as good as everything else he's written, and that's not fair at all." (George R R Martin)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (22 )
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4.2 (20 )
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4.5 (20 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tara 12/02/2015
    Tara 12/02/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it!"

    It took a while to understand the roles of the team as I was only half paying attention at the start and the names were so confusing... Costan, Sefton, toshack, quill... I couldn't work out who was the main character... Soon I realised there wasn't one, but four!

    I loved the depth that added to the story. However sometimes it was easy to get lost as to what character he was talking about as the narrator sometimes as it changes quickly between the four characters.

    Overall I loved it though!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanna O'Connor, Australia 09/03/2017
    Suzanna O'Connor, Australia 09/03/2017 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
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    Story
    "a well crafted police drama with supernatural ties"

    This is the first book in a series about a small unit of London metropolitan police who become unwillingly involved in a supernatural side of London. This book is nothing like the Rivers of London series. It is dark and gritty, and although there is magic, it is not under their control and they have no guide or teacher to aid them in understanding. I found the first chapter a little difficult to follow as an audio book - a combination of the London slang and the accents, but my ear attuned and then I found it easier. I'm glad that I persisted, because by the end of the book I didn't want to get out of the car and stop listening. A well crafted police drama with a very creepy villain and a nice touch of the supernatural.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Tango
    Texas
    3/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Team Quill"

    I was a little hesitant to pick up one more urban noir fantasy set in London having already read Peter Grant, Alex Verus, Felix Castor, and Courts of Feyre - all UNF series set in or around London. However, London is 2000 years old and packed with history so I finally decided the city could probably support one more. Good decision, me! After listening to London Falling, I decided that London actually could support several more UNF series if there are more writers like Paul Cornell.

    The Publisher's Summary is quite sufficient to give you a flavor of this tale and get you started, however, I will note an explanation of one thing that confused me at the outset in case it might help someone else. The story begins with two detectives, Costain and Sefton, undercover attempting to bust a mob boss, Rob Toshack. DI James Quill (Costain's and Sefton's boss) has a brief meeting with Costain in a men's room to give him instructions. The very beginning of the book was a bit confusing to me because I didn't quite understand who were the bad guys, who were the police, and how they were interacting. Part of this is because Damian Lynch uses a very authentic accent for the seedier types of London, which nicely sets the tone of the book, but makes for a challenge for American ears. You have to get the rhythm of that accent before you can really understand what is being said and who is saying it. I would encourage you to stay with it, because once you get clear (it only takes about 15 minutes), this gritty, history-soaked tale really takes off.

    There are several things in this series that make it unique and bear special mention:

    1. I like urban noir fantasy, especially when the dark stories are offset a bit with humor and good characters. London Falling has both - no LOL, but lots of wry, ironic moments and believable, fleshed out characters.

    2. Unlike most UNF, there is no one central wizard, mage, or necromancer. If fact, in the beginning, there are no magic-wielders on the protagonist side at all. Each of the four central protagonists has a backstory that draws him/her into the mystery and each has certain talents that are enhanced and informed by one moment that the four share while trying to solve the case. From that point, although Quill is "in charge", the four members of the team are equal and essential to the resolution of the mystery. So, this is a "team" series rather than another "lone wolf" escapade.

    3. London Falling is very dark and truly gritty. Unlike several authors I have read recently, Cornell seems to understand that gritty and vulgar are not synonyms. There isn't much coarse language or lewdness in London Falling, but there is a deep creepiness that makes London Falling read more like some horror mysteries than like other UNF novels.

    I have continued this series with the next book, The Severed Streets, and there were lots more surprises and another story utilizing the loooooong, crazy history of London. And, once you adjust your ears to Damian Lynch, I think you'll enjoy this narrator, too.

    43 of 53 people found this review helpful
  • Michael Hall
    Olympia, WA United States
    15/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best books I've heard!"
    What did you love best about London Falling?

    The character development of our four "heroes" was just wonderful. I felt like I really understood what made them tick, even in the bizarre supernatural world that they discovered. In the middle of incredible and incomprehensible events, I cared and cheered for these people.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Somehow this impossible world became plausible. I think it's very, very difficult for an author to maintain any credibility while writing about the supernatural - but this book does it. The plot held water in a way that built suspense and was immensely satisfying at the end.


    What about Damian Lynch’s performance did you like?

    He has a sort of halting style that was a little distracting at first, but quickly it became just right for the story because it gave me a bit of time to think between phrases. This can be a tough story to follow but the narrator helped make it work. Plus, of course, his accent is brilliant!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Its British-ness was wonderful to hear! I am one of the countless American anglo-philes out there; this book was written for Brits alone so I had to work to understand some of the language that was used. A labor of love!


    Any additional comments?

    Can't WAIT to listen to the sequel.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Jeffrey W. McClure
    Salado, Texas United States
    2/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Riveting and well narrated"

    A great example of the hidden London genre with an excellent juxtaposition of solid police mythology with the supernatural world. The narration is immersive with Damian Lynch presenting a whole cast of voices, all with authentic but very understandable local accents.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Avid Books and TV
    AUSTIN, TX, United States
    4/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nothing Special"

    So I guess there are couple of these series out now, with London Police dealing with the supernatural. Among this group London Falling had little to separate it from the crowd. None of the characters are especially likeable, and I found several just plain annoying and/or condescending. Nothing about the plot was particularly clever and, as far as magic systems and the supernatural goes, this was pretty poorly developed. There's some potential for this to improve in future books in the series, but I'm not sure I want to spend another credit on any more books in this series to find out.

    I was also not a fan of Damian Lynch's narration. His voice was fine, and while the range between characters wasn't great, it was adequate. However, he continually has these long pauses between phrases and sentences. It's incredibly annoying to the point where I wanted to shout at him, "Get on with it!" It would go something like this: brief phrase, pause... end of phrase. Long pause... (like he's finding his spot in the text), Next sentence. Another pause, and so on. This book would probably be several hours shorter if that stuff was edited out. There were also several other parts where the narrator repeats himself because he lost his place so editing overall was pretty shoddy.

    As for this London supernatural police sub-genre, I much preferred Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Eric
    Everett, WA, United States
    6/02/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "English horror mystery"

    This is a very good book to listen to however I will say due to the english accent you might find yourself listening to it more than once. It has a Stephen King feel to it so it does hurry to develop the story. But once your into this book I believe you will really love this story.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Andreas
    5/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Coopers meets the occult; interesting clash"

    Couldn't stop listening. As a fan of the Dresden Files and Iron Druid and the like this was different in a good way, being more serious and a tad darker.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Gillian K. Crozier
    London, Ontario Canada
    18/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent book"

    This is an excellent book, and a great start for an engaging series. There is a minor technical glitch, which I hope will be corrected: specifically, there are a few skips in the playback... something I've experienced at the same locations on both listens to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • maureen
    24/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "oops!"

    Wow, I really picked the wrong book. The beginning of the book was so confusing to me that I almost gave up in the first 20 minutes. I had a very hard time figuring out who was who and what was going on at the start. The book is full of long drawn out inner dialogs and I guess I just wasn't invested enough in the characters to care. I read and listen for relaxation and this book was too much like work for me. One review I read compared this to the Dresden Files, which is why I gave this book a try. I did not find any of the Harry Dresden wit and charm in this book. The plot has twists and turns and it is well narrated, just not my cup of tea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Parvaty
    Delhi , India
    27/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So far so bad"

    But will give it another 15 minutes ... the narrator is staccato...there is no atmosphere.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • LHF
    Brinston, ON, Canada
    6/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Took a while to get going but was worth the wait."

    Very reminiscent of the River books written by Ben Aaronovich and it would be interesting if the two authors collaborated on one together. The narration was good but it was sometimes difficult to catch who was speaking as the variation between characters was not very pronounced. Still a great listen and I'll be downloading the next book in the series shortly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Beccameriel
    London, United Kingdom
    7/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Starts slow and a bit confusing but stick with it!"

    I wasn't sure at first. The first chapter dumps you straight in the middle of an undercover police operation which is about to get chaotic and there is no exposition to help you understand what is going on. But then the magical stuff starts to happen and it turns out the protagonists have no idea what is going on either. I read a review that said if Rivers of London is The Bill, then London Falling is The Sweeney; darker and more violent. Like Ben Aaronovitch's London, it's authentically multi-cultural and all kinds of magic grows from the city's lengthy history and complex mythology. I LIVE for this stuff :)

    There's one amazing reveal that is brilliantly handled. Really did not see it coming and it's perfect - I genuinely gasped out loud when I realized.

    It's the start of a series and whilst the main storyline is resolved there is lots of setup for the next book(s). From initially thinking it wasn't for me (NB Wolves of London which I really couldn't get on with) I ended up binge listening and getting the sequel straight away to binge listen to that too.

    Damian Lynch does a great job; well pace, all the characters clearly differentiated and believable.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Ieva
    Babite, Latvia
    2/06/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much of everything.."

    I can only agree to some of other reviews - the story line sounds too familiar and it is quite hard to get in to the story at first. If you are a fan of Ben Aaronovitch and expect something like Rivers of London there might be a disappointment. For my taste there is too much of everything - witch sanctifying children according the football scores, talking cats and time travel, even a hint of free masonry... If with Aaronovitch`s books one actually starts to believe the story and it positively drags you in, then with this story you just do not believe. I had to force to listen until the end, just out of curiosity how it shall end.
    The performance though is very impressive.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Mansfield, United Kingdom
    4/05/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A cracking book"

    If you liked Rivers of London, London Revenant or the Jack Nightingale books you will like this one, its a new slant on the urban supernatural thriller with elements of a police Procedural and who done it, with realistic flawed characters.
    Damian Lynch gives a really good performance.

    I will certainly be looking forward to the next book in this series "the Severed Streets"

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    Inerness, United Kingdom
    12/05/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good listen."

    Was a good listen and I liked the story,. I have listened to Rivers of London and a couple that came after and this seemed very similar - perhaps its a Genre thing. It is a good and well written story and is enjoyable, but it was so close to Rivers of London themes for me I couldn't quite get into it as much as I would have liked.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Phil
    West Sussex, United Kingdom
    30/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Reasonablish plot, awful writing style"

    The plot's ok, if a bit daft in places. That kept me going until the end of the book. The main problem is the one dimensional characters and the terrible clunky writing style. This is made worse by the narrator who leaves long pause between sentances. I won't be reading any more of the series.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Kitty
    27/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I can't wait for book 2"
    Any additional comments?

    I found this quite difficult to get into at first but I'm glad I stuck with it. The tension is on from the first chapter and I listened to the whole thing over a weekend. The book is both a satisfying crime thiller and a thouroughly enjoyable fantasy adventure.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • P. C. Smith
    South Gloucestershire,UK
    17/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "SPELLBINDING"

    I absolutely loved this book. A bit gruesome in parts but riveting story, beautifully read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jane
    GATESHEAD, United Kingdom
    3/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "LOVED IT💜"

    Wasn't sure at first, but then suddenly it just clicks. Love the way it sets up for the series to follow, am looking forward to it

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Knitting nut
    NUNEATON, United Kingdom
    31/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointed"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone with a better brain who can unravel and remember better than I can


    Would you ever listen to anything by Paul Cornell again?

    Maybe


    What about Damian Lynch’s performance did you like?

    Performance was ok considering what he had to work with


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointed


    Any additional comments?

    I found the plot slow to start with and then became totally confused to such an extent that the thought of listening to ten more hours just horrified me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • joe
    UK
    11/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "London Failing"

    Took a punt on this as it was in the BOGOF sale. I found the whole thing a little silly really. The idea of catching and "nicking" an alternate reality ghost/witch using good old fashioned police work...WHAT?

    The narration is also lousy, of the 4 main characters there is only one discernible voice (Quinn) the other 3 just merge into one. This makes some parts quite hard to follow, especially the first 30minutes!! and the voicing of the "demons" is totally ridiculous.

    I gave up on this half way through. Maybe with a better narrator i would have stuck with it, but as it is, I don't think this book was even worth half a credit... poor

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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