Bone Gods, the gripping third installment in the Black London series, picks up six months after the end of the previous book, with Pete Caldecott drifting somewhat aimlessly through her life without Jack, yet still carrying on the work they did together. Called to a rather dodgy crime scene at the British Museum by her former partner, Ollie Heath, Pete determines that there is indeed something off with the corpse of Gerard Carver, which is covered with unusual markings. During the course of her investigation, Pete enlists the aid of white witch, Lawrence, makes the unpleasant acquaintance of Ethan Morningstar, representative of the Order of Malleus, a group sworn to root out sorcery, and must deal with the reappearance of two people from her past.
Just when it seems as though things could not get much worse, Jack reappears from his stint in Hell, though Pete wisely questions how he managed to get away, as well as whether or not he has returned the same person he was when he was taken by the demon Belial. The two learn that warring factions within the Black have their own agendas that will affect the mundane world, as well, and they are both pulled into the battle. As the larger problems rage around her and suck her into their vortex, Pete must also contend with her conflicting feelings and concerns over Jack’s odd return and what it may portend.
Readers will feel as though they have stepped right into the London locales Kittredge so skillfully depicts, from the authentic scenery to the speech cadence and vocabulary of the people. With its heady atmospheric detail, the mesmerizing Bone Gods also provides a clearer picture of the Black than its predecessors. With delightfully and unapologetically villainous bad guys and flawed good guys, Kittredge succeeds in creating a world filled with magic that feels very real.
Though a tough, resilient woman, Pete realizes all too well her own weakness: “…as much as heroin and adrenaline were Jack’s drugs of choice, he was hers. The only thing she could never kick” (Ch. 30). This situation raises thorny ethical issues for Pete in this novel, ones that test the limits of her inner strength and her perception of her purpose as the Weir.
Kittredge avoids the pitfalls often seen in the genre by employing pitch-perfect suspense rather than frenetic, further enhancing the narrative. Bone Gods raises the level of this excellent series even higher, and belongs in the hands of all urban fantasy fans. This reviewer anxiously awaits book four.
- Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks; Original edition (November 30, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312388209
- ISBN-13: 978-0312388201