Book review

The Rook

The Checquy Files, #1

by Daniel O’Malley

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

What a cracking book! I loved this supernatural/sci-fi combo, with the clever twist that the main character starts the book having completely lost her memory, finding herself standing in the dark in the rain, surrounded by several dead bodies, all of whom are wearing latex gloves. Through the excellent plot device of a series of notes that she’s left herself, she realises who she was and what her life was all about, and quite how much danger she is in.

Myfanwy, the lyrically named heroine, would love to find out what’s going on and how she came to lose her memory, but before she has time, she’s launched into a series of adventures with supernatural forces. For it becomes apparent that Myfanwy is a high-ranking member – a Rook – in a secret organisation called the Chequy, set up to battle the supernatural forces that threaten Britain.

There are some great characters in here, and some intriguing, and quite non-human, forces at play. To avoid spoilers, I won’t reveal too much, but it’s a great read. For me it had something of the vibe of Charles Stross’s Laundry Files series – supernatural creatures and goings on, which are hidden from us by a hidden quasi-governmental organisation. Written with humour and verve, and just a delight to read – hard to put down even late at night, leading to complaints from my better half that the backlighting on the kindle was keeping her awake…

I’ll definitely be picking up the next one in the series.

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