Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins

(8.5/10)

A thousand miles east of Mirgorod, the great capital city of the Vlast, deep in the ancient forest, lies the most recent fallen angel, its vast stone form half-buried and fused into the rock by the violence of impact. As its dark energy leeches into the crash site, so a circle of death expands around it, slowly - inexorably - killing everything it touches. Alone in the wilderness, it reaches out with its mind.

The endless forest and its antique folklore are no concern to Inspector Vissarion Lom, summoned to the capital in order to catch a terrorist - and ordered to report directly to the head of the secret police. A totalitarian state, worn down by an endless war, must be seen to crush home-grown terrorism with an iron fist. But Lom discovers Mirgorod to be more corrupted than he imagined: a murky world of secret police and revolutionaries, cabaret clubs and doomed artists. Lom has been chosen because he is an outsider, not involved in the struggle for power within the party. And because of the sliver of angel stone implanted in his head at the children's home.

Lom's investigation reveals a conspiracy that extends to the top echelons of the party. When he exposes who -or rather what - is the controlling intelligence behind this, it is time for the detective to change sides. Pursued by rogue police agents and their man-crushing mudjhik, Lom must protect Kantor's step-daughter Maroussia, who has discovered what is hidden beneath police headquarters: a secret so ancient that only the forest remembers. As they try to escape the capital and flee down river, elemental forces are gathering. The earth itself is on the move.

I am a fan of both fantasy literature and thrillers. So this novel, with its thriller and fantasy elements was clearly written for readers like me in mind.

On the front cover there is a quote from Richard Morgan comparing this to Ian Fleming and in a lot of respects he has got that right. The early scenes, with their short punchy sentences, vivid descriptions and pulsing action sequences are very reminiscent of Fleming. Add this to a sci fi mystery, blending an alternate totalitarian state with an ancient mythical world and you have a potent mix.

The characters are interesting and fully developed, each with a strong back story and motivations. Lom has to investigate the enigmatic terrorist Josef Kantor as well as unlocking the mysteries of his own past.

Higgins passion for history, espionage and science fiction all shine through. The chapters are short and entertaining, but it does end rather abruptly. I found the first half of the book the strongest with Higgins’ descriptions of a police state, with its mean streets and aura of fear and uncertainty palpable. The final half was weaker and seemed a little rushed. Overall though this was a highly enjoyable and creative slice of fiction.

Published 2013 by Gollancz
ISBN-13: 978-0575130548

Review by

All reviews for Peter Higgins's The Wolfhound Century series


Wolfhound Century
8.5

A thousand miles east of Mirgorod, the great capital city of the Vlast, deep in the ancient forest, lies the most recent fallen angel, its vast stone form half-buried and f [...]


Truth and Fear
9.0

Investigator Lom returns to Mirgorod and finds the city in the throes of a crisis. The war against the Archipelago is not going well. Enemy divisions are massing outside th [...]


Radiant State
8.0

The Vlast stands two hundred feet tall, four thousand tons of steel ready to be flung upwards on the fire of atom bombs. Ready to take the dream of President-Commander of t [...]

15+

Wolfhound Century reader reviews

8.5/10 from 1 reviews

Write a reader review

There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?

Your rating out of 10

Books you may also enjoy

The Road

by Cormac McCarthy

A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. They have nothi [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2006

Score: 113

Our rating: 10.0 | 13 positive reader reviews

15+

1984

by George Orwell

Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels ag [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1949

Score: 103

Our rating: 10.0 | 3 positive reader reviews

15+

Metro 2033

by Dmitry Glukhovsky

The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boun [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2005

Score: 108

Our rating: 9.9 | 9 positive reader reviews

15+

Swan Song

by Robert McCammon

Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack. America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen – from the Pres [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1987

Score: 127

Our rating: 9.8 | 29 positive reader reviews

15+

The Last Man Standing

by Davide Longo

Italy is on the brink of collapse. Borders are closed, banks withhold money, the postal service stalls. Armed gangs of drug-fuelled youths roam the countryside. Leonardo wa [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2012

Score: 97

Our rating: 9.6 | 1 positive reader reviews

15+

The Chimes

by Anna Smaill

A boy stands on the roadside on his way to London, alone in the rain.No memories, beyond what he can hold in his hands at any given moment.No directions, as w [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2015

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.6 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Animal Farm

by George Orwell

Animal Farm is set in a farmyard where the animals decide to seize the farmer's land and create a co-operative that reaps the benefits of their combined labours. Howeve [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1945

Score: 137

Our rating: 9.5 | 42 positive reader reviews

12+

The Drowned World

by JG Ballard

Fluctuations in solar radiation have melted the ice caps, sending the planet into a new Triassic Age of unendurable heat. London is a swamp; lush tropical vegetation grows [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1962

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Oryx and Crake

by Margaret Atwood

Snowman may be the last man on earth, the only survivor of an unnamed apocalypse. Once he was Jimmy, a member of a scientific elite; now he lives in bitter isolation and lo [...]

Series: The Maddaddam Trilogy: Book 1
Published: 2003

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

15+