Now that her Nocturne City series is established, author Caitlin Kittredge turns her attention to more magical beings. In the debut novel of her Black London series, Street Magic, we meet two very unlikely partners, Pete Caldecott and Jack Winter.
A Detective Inspector for the Metropolitan Police, Pete is in the middle of a missing child case. She receives a cryptic note offering information on the missing girl, and runs straight into her past. At sixteen she had followed Jack Winter into a crypt and seen him die. How was she supposed to reconcile that memory with the Jack Winter now before her?
Jack may still be breathing, but living is another matter entirely. He is strung out on heroin and very angry with Pete about their last meeting. Pete can hardly stand to see him like this, but she needs his help. More children go missing, and she cannot shake the feeling that their abductions are otherworldly. Someone is hunting them and using them for their own dark purposes. Jack may be her best asset.
Street Magic has a lot of ground to cover. We need to become acquainted with Pete and Jack, and understand their shared history. The author needs to establish the rules for this world, which is much more complex than her previous series. This background building causes the pace to slow down in spots, and to lose the plot focus. Pete and Jack are interesting characters, and each of them has no small amount of baggage. Knowing who they are will be important as the series goes on.
While there is plenty to like about Street Magic, I never really found the plot to be gripping. The character development was good. The author needed to lay the groundwork for her series, and it came at the expense of the action. Knowing how well she crafts urban fantasy, I am certain her subsequent books in the series will be more focused.