For the past two days, it’s been too hot (30C/86F and 80% humidity) to do anything other than find shade and drink cold liquids from large glasses. I wanted to read (of course) but I didn’t want to have to work my brain too hard. I needed the book equivalent of a well-made margarita: cool, light, refreshing, easy to sip but with enough kick to keep you wanting more.
Fortunately, I had ‘Brimstone Bound’ the first book in a new series by Helen Harper to hand, which fit the bill perfectly.
Helen Harper, a Scottish writer based in Devon, is a prolific writer of Urban Fantasy. She published her first book ‘Bloodfire’ back in 2012 and now has forty-three books in ten series to her name.
I started with her original, compelling, dark, angst-ridden Bo Blackman Urban Fantasy series and later discovered her light, witty, laugh-out-loud, ever-so-slightly-RomCom Urban Fantasy. The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Magic Urban Fantasy series.
Her new Firebrand series, like the Bo Blackman series, is set in an alternative London in which supernaturals are known and legislated for parts of the British establishment. It’s a lot lighter in tone than the Bo Blackman series but isn’t a comedy like The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Magic.
In ‘Brimstone Bound’ Emma Bellamy, who is two weeks away from graduating as a Metropolitan Police Detective, tells the story of what happens when, for her final assignment she is sent not to cybercrime as expected but to the only-screw-ups-get-sent-there Supernatural Squad, responsible for policing the city’s Vampire and Werewolf populations, together with sundry other supernaturals. It wasn’t the assignment that Emma wanted but she decides to make the best of it. She gets murdered on her first day on the job. After that, things get complicated.
This is an entertaining supernatural thriller with some good world-building, engaging characters, and a decent murder mystery. I liked that I (almost) always knew the broad direction of where the plot was going but still got some pleasant surprises on how it got there. The pacing worked. Emma is easy to like. The mystery is just twisty enough to keep me turning the pages, especially when solving the mystery meant that Emma had to learn a lot about the Supernatural world in a very short time.
‘Brimstone Bound’ did everything I wanted it to do and set the basis for a fun, entertaining series.
The hot weather is set to continue, so my next book is going to be ‘Infernal Enchantment’, the second book in the series.