Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Midnight Mayor The Midnight Mayor
by Kate Griffin

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

The Midnight Mayor is Kate Griffin’s second book about the sorcerer Matthew Swift and this time I think she has hit her metier.

Matthew 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 isn’t 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 hadn’t 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?

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