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Book Review: Roofworld by Christopher Fowler

 




Roofworld by Christopher Fowler (Book Review)

Roofworld

By Christopher Fowler

I had never read any of Christopher Fowler's work until I read Roofworld. I had heard good things about the book though, and I didn't have to get many pages into it before I discovered that I had heard right. It is very good.

Roofworld is the story of a society secretly living in London and quite separate from the rest of the City dwellers (who the Roofworlders call the 'Insects').

You don't have to get very far into the book before you realize that the Roofworld community has been around for a long time. The Roofworld society might not be new, but there  have been some new developments up amongst the roofs. A man called Chymes is the main reason for this. The present day Roofworld is lead by Nathaniel Zalian and he is a good guy. The hooded man, Chymes, on the other hand, is not a good guy at all and a lot of the Roofworlders have either been killed by him or gone over to join him and his occult society.

Although the Roofworlders are living separate from the rest of society, when the victims of Chymes dark and unusual sacrifices turn up on terra-firma it draws attention to the fact that something strange is going on above the heads of the City dwellers and when the body of a teenaged boy falls from the flaming remains of a neon Coca-Cola sign Detective Chief Inspector Ian Hargreave is put in charge of the investigation.

Hargreave is not the only 'Insect' that gets dragged into the Roofworlder's war. Two of the books main characters Robert Linden and Rose Leonard also hail from the ranks of those who would normally live underneath a roof rather than on top on one. Robert is trying to find out who owns the rights to a book called The Newgate Legacy because the company he works for is considering making it into a film. While searching the flat of the recently murdered author he finds something that seems to be a manuscript for another book and it eventually leads him to Roofworld. Rose is employed to take care of the apartment block where the author lived and she too ends up 'going up' and meeting the Roofworlders.

Roofworld is a very imaginative work and when Fowler describes the Roofworlders sliding along on nylon cables, called runs, and travelling from one building to another above the busy night-time streets he manages to make it all sound very plausible, if a little scary. There is no shortage of

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imagination either when it comes to the way that some of the characters die and they die in all kinds of unusual and bloody ways.

Roofworld is 400 pages long and I enjoyed reading every one of those 400 pages. It is one of those books that makes you feel almost a little sad when you reach the last page because then the adventure is over, and you have to say a final goodbye to the characters. Until the next time that you read the book, that is.



 

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