Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Fallible Justice’ by Laura Laakso, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I was delighted to participate in this tour, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*
In Old London, where paranormal races co-exist with ordinary humans, criminal verdicts delivered by the all-seeing Heralds of Justice are infallible. After a man is declared guilty of murder and sentenced to death, his daughter turns to private investigator Yannia Wilde to do the impossible and prove the Heralds wrong.
Yannia has escaped a restrictive life in the Wild Folk conclave where she was raised, but her origins mark her as an outsider in the city. Those origins lend her the sensory abilities of all of nature. Yet Yannia is lonely and struggling to adapt to life in the city. The case could be the break she needs. She enlists the help of her only friend, a Bird Shaman named Karrion, and together they accept the challenge of proving a guilty man innocent.
So begins a breathless race against time and against all conceivable odds. Can Yannia and Karrion save a man who has been judged infallibly guilty?
This is the first paranormal crime book that I’ve read and what a fantastic introduction. The title – the idea of justice being fallible – and the cover, which is alluring caught my attention, but it was the writing that hooked me in right from the beginning. ‘I am running through the wilderness, and the wilderness runs through me.’ The descriptions throughout the story were lyrical and vivid, particularly where magic was involved giving the world a wonderfully mystic feel without losing the grounding needed by the crime aspect of the story. It was a story that was woven, rather than told, fantasy and reality twined together.
Fallible Justice had all the facets of a traditional crime novel, the twists and turns, and clues that weren’t clues. It was well-paced, balancing the urgency of solving the mystery and racing against the clock, with slower, character moments. And these were set against the backdrop of a complex, beautifully imagined world. What I enjoyed, was that this wasn’t two worlds entirely at odds with one another, but two communities trying to live together – not perfectly, and not without tension and some misconceptions – another way of grounding the fantastical in the real.
I enjoyed the worldbuilding, not just the combination of the magical and mundane, but also the breadth of the fantasy world. There was such a variety of magical users and beings, each with their own powers, and personalities, and all with their own place in the world. I especially enjoyed the concept of the Heralds and the way the belief that they were infallible in their omnipotence was built into the world.
Yannia, the main character, a magic-user trying to make a place in Old London away from the world she had grown up on, was a fantastic character. She had power, but it didn’t solve all her problems. She still had to solve the mystery through detective work and deal with questions about her personal life, and the chronic pain that plagued her, without an escape clause that magic can sometimes be. Her relationship with Karrion was a well-developed friendship built on honest affection, and working together, and it was wonderful to see him finding his path and learning from her. Other stand characters are Wishearth and Lady Bergamon, and I hope that we will see more of them in the future. Each character had a distinctive voice and role, threads that draw the reader deeper into the narrative, and has left me wanting more.
This book is a blend of crime and fantasy, old and new, reality and the magical, and has laid a strong foundation for the rest of the series. I would definitely recommend this book, especially to anyone wanting to find read something different.
About the Author:
Laura Laakso is a Finn who has lived for most of her adult life in England. She is an accountant, dog trainer and author. Fallible Justice is her debut novel and the first in her paranormal crime series Wilde Investigations.
Fallible Justice (Wilde Investigations#1) – Laura Laakso (Published in paperback, audio and digital formats by Louise Walters Books on 8th November 2018) – **** (4/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book. Or if you have any recommendations for similar books, please shoot them my way.
#FallibleJustice @LLaaksoWriter @LouiseWalters12 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours