Once he was a hero of the Great War, and then a member of the dreaded Black House. Now he is the criminal linchpin of Low Town.
His name is Warden.
He thought he had left the war behind him, but a summons from up above brings the past sharply, uncomfortably, back into focus. General Montgomery's daughter is missing somewhere in Low Town, searching for clues about her brother's murder. The General wants her found, before the stinking streets can lay claim to her, too.
Tomorrow the Killing is the second book in the Low Town series written by Daniel Polansky. The first book Straight Razor Cure had a really unique and very dark and gritty setting to it. But more over Daniel Polansky introduced me to the "Warden", who remains most mysterious in the first book. And after finishing it, it raised many questions for me that I hoped would be answered in the books to follow. In this, Tomorrow the Killing lived up to my expectations, and above it.
Again you get to meet up with Warden and the story is being told from his point of view. What I however did not get from the beginning was the dark and gritty setting that I felt in Straight Razor Cure, but as the story progresses - and you get to know more and more about the events and the persons that are covered - you do feel the story taking a turn to the darker side. In the introducing chapters Warden is being called upon for help by an old friend of his: General Montgomery, who needs Warden to look for his daughter who has fled to Low Town to seek the murderer of their son/brother Ronald Montgomery. Well, if something is happening in Low Town, who would be the best person to call upon? Warden of course. But even he will find himself in a series of events that he might not have foreseen in the beginning. And as a reader you're in for quite the mystery!
Using the Warden as the point of view again adds a great strength and foundation to the novel, in Straight Razor Cure I found that he gave an nice scenic tour of Low Town, showing off the daily comings and goings. This feat is somewhat repeated but in a different element. In Tomorrow the Killing you get to meet up with the past of the Warden through a great many flashbacks. This revealing of his past were directly to my liking. The Warden is complex, he has a rich past and as I found out, there are a great many demons hunting his trail. He had many great options in his past, but choose one that led eventually to becoming what he is now, criminal lord of Low Town. However not in all the cases. You should not expect the Warden to hold your hand to pass the street, but he does have a feeling side in him. As he is carrying out his investigation in and around Low Town you get to meet up with different characters, some who I already got to know from Straight Razor Cure. Some of them being: Adolphus the barkeep at the Earl and Wren, who Warden took under his wing in the first book. It is in these confrontations and dialogues that you see Warden referring to these people as his family and takes care of them whatever the costs. It is with Wren that I still have high hopes about what he can do in the books to come. Wren was gifted with "Art", the magical power in Low Town. I hope this will be explored in the third book. Why is it so feared? And there was a reference in one of the chapters to the Dren and Art, so what is the relation?
The flashbacks to the past of the Warden centre around the Dren war, where Adolphus and Warden both met up. These Flashbacks place you directly into the trenches and the violence of the Dren war. What I especially liked about them was that they made sense, playing often directly into what happened in the present of the book. This feature gave a well rounded overall story.
Tomorrow the Killing is a great addition to the Low Town series, and I was more than pleased to see the past of Warden and that is pretty gruesome and dark. The continuation of the dark and gritty scene was greatly put together and creating again a very unique story. Although there were already a few revelations of the Warden’s past in Tomorrow the Killing I hope that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Showing that the Warden was part of a Special Operations and made right-hand in the first year but in his third year he had his “fall from grace”? I want to know what happened in between those! I was hoping for just this sequel.
Thanks for Hodder and Stoughton for kindly providing me with the review copy.
Review by Jasper de Joode
9/10 from 1 reviews
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