Book review

Dead man in Ditch

Author Luke Arnold

Pages 416

Urban Fantasy but would appeal to any fantasy fan

Book 2 of the Fetch Philips’ series

Fetch Philips has nothing left to believe in. Which is why he’s surprised when the people of Sunder City start to believe in him…

Rumour has it that Fetch is only one who can bring magic back into the world. So when a man is murdered in a way that can only be explained as magical, Fetch is brought in on the case. A case which just might unearth things best left buried…

The good

The book picks up soon after the end of the first book, when Fetch Phillips, man for hire, is contacted by the Sunder City police and much to Fetch’s surprise, it’s not because he is in trouble for a change. A human has been murdered and Simms, the reptilian police detective would like to hire Fetch to find out if he died by magic and the murderer too. She has heard the rumours too- Fetch is trying to find a way to bring the magic back to Archetellos.

 I was so happy, I had the second book in the Fetch Phillips series as soon as I finished the first one, so I could jump straight back into the post Coda world in Sunder City.

The book was an intriguing mix of styles- murder mystery, crime noir and thriller but these different parts blend seamlessly to produce a book I couldn’t put down.

Fetch is still remains a shambles of a man, a misfit who doesn’t belong with humans but will never be accepted by the non-humans ( if only because he caused the Coda – the event that made magic disappear). Fetch is more empathetic and caring than he would like to be which makes his constantly shifting loyalties and bad decisions more bearable. His character growth is evident in this book when he has to make a hard choice that leads to heartache. 

The plot races along with more action than the last book and we see more Archetellos and how Sunder City fits in the new world order. The new female characters are more fleshed out and I would definitely read books that stared the combination of Simms and Fetch or Fetch and Linda ( the werecat who sets herself up as Fetch’s rival). 

The post Coda world of Archetellos remains fascinating and magical even in the absence of magic and the introduction of man-made technology introduces tension between the old world and the new. 

The bad

The book is darker in tone compared to Last Smile in Sunder city although this is tempered by Fetch’s humour and the relative kindness of some of the minor characters. Unlike the last book, there are no grey areas when it comes to its antagonist-the Niles brother and the wizard Tippity. Even Daemar’s motivations and actions were two dimensional.

Unless humans in Archetellos are biologically different, there is no way Fetch could survive all the violence inflicted on him, in this book and the past without any permanent physical or mental damage.

The ugly

I found it hard going reading the scene in the fire pits with a tortured magical animal.

 Any Cliffhangers?

 No, The book resolves the main storyline but neatly sets up the next book ( I really hope there is a next book).

Perfect for:

Fans of the Rivers of London ( Ben Aaronovitch) and Dresden Files (Jim Butcher).

Check out the series review here


5 stars