Bone Gods (Black London Series #3)

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Overview

Witch hunts are on the rise and supernatural turf wars are reaching a boiling point. Then, just when it seems life couldn’t get any worse for Pete, Jack reappears—but he’s no longer the man she’s always known. Hell has changed him forever. And he’s brought back with him a whole world of trouble…

A cabal of necromancers are using ancient, unspeakable magic to turn the tide of war in their favor. Then, as the city is about to sink into chaos, Pete receives a chilling directive: To...

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Overview

Witch hunts are on the rise and supernatural turf wars are reaching a boiling point. Then, just when it seems life couldn’t get any worse for Pete, Jack reappears—but he’s no longer the man she’s always known. Hell has changed him forever. And he’s brought back with him a whole world of trouble…

A cabal of necromancers are using ancient, unspeakable magic to turn the tide of war in their favor. Then, as the city is about to sink into chaos, Pete receives a chilling directive: To end the war, you must kill the crow-mage. Beset from all sides, Pete finds herself turning to an unholy source for help…even if doing so could destroy Black London—and life as she knew it—once and for all.

 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Acclaim for Caitlin Kittredge’s Black London series

“Takes supernatural shadows to the next level. Kittredge knows how to create a believable world, and her fans will enjoy the mix of magic and city grit.” —Publishers Weekly

“Crackles with conflict and perilous magic...For those who love their urban fantasy hypnotically treacherous, this book’s for you!” —Romantic Times BOOKreviews

"Street Magic jumps right in to non-stop supernatural action, taking urban fantasy fans on a wild ride.”—Darque Reviews

“This is a dark, visceral read that sucks you in and doesn’t let you up for air. That is part of my intense love for this series... It hit all my buttons; ghosts, magic, demons, cemeteries, England, moors, fog, supernatural creatures, ancient deities. The way things ended, I am seriously anxious to see what is happening next. Go out and get this!”—Night Owl Romance

 

“Sensual and empowering.”—Romance Junkies

 

Library Journal
Faced with a bizarrely mutilated body found in the British Museum, London investigator Ollie Heath calls in a former colleague, Pete (Petunia) Caldecott, an expert on occult crimes. However, Pete's source for magical knowledge, punk rocker Jack Winter, is trapped in Hell, payment for a bargain with the dark powers in return for bringing him back from the dead 13 years earlier. When Jack's help against a coven of necromancers finally arrives, Pete discovers that she may be too late to save London from falling into the clutches of darkness. The third novel in Kittredge's "Black London" urban fantasy series (Street Magic; Demon Bound) focuses on Pete's struggle to protect the unknowing populace of her city without the love and support she once enjoyed. VERDICT Strong characters make this attractive to fans of the series as well as Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312388201
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/2010
  • Series: Black London Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 343
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Caitlin Kittredge is the author of the Nocturne City and Black London series, as well as several short stories. She started writing novels at age 13, and after a few years writing screenplays, comic books and fan-fiction, she wrote Night Life, her debut novel. She is the proud owner of an English degree, two cats, a morbid imagination, a taste for black clothing, punk rock, and comic books. She’s lucky enough to write full time and watches far too many trashy horror movies. She lives in Olympia, Washington.

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1
 
The dead man lay in repose at the feet of Ramses II. His blood had dried long ago on the marble floor and left a rust-colored halo about his head. One of the dead man’s hands stretched outward, his fingers curled like an oak leaf in the dead of winter.
Pete Caldecott watched the dead man from the doorway of the Egyptian Room. Early morning light lit the white-suited crime scene investigators and the somber blue-jacketed Metropolitan Police officers like a cluster of ghosts, even though every one of them was flesh and bone.
Involved in watching as she was, she jumped when a hand touched her arm. “Got you a tea,” Ollie Heath said, passing over a cardboard cup. “Not that shite stuff we have down at the nick, either—posh British Museum tea.” He swigged from his own paper cup, a bit of brown liquid dribbling out to land on his shirt.
“Cheers.” Pete took a sip, noting in passing that the tea was, in fact, quite good. “What’s all this, Ollie? Your boys can’t handle a bit of straightforward murder amidst the mummies?”
Ollie grimaced at the tea on his shirt. “Call came in at about five a.m.—body in the British Museum. Thought it was some kids taking the piss at first. ’S like something out of bloody Agatha Christie, right? Anyway, they kicked it to the DI in the rotation, I got the crime scene boys in for a look, and it was all going along fine until the medical examiner went to move the body.” Ollie stopped talking, and Pete watched his usually flushed cheeks drain to pale. “She found, well …” He cleared his throat. “You need to see it for yourself.”
Pete handed Ollie her teacup and ducked under the tape blocking off the Egyptian collection. It was eight in the morning, nearly. The museum would be wanting to open in a scant few hours, and Ollie’s boys had been doing a fine job of getting things cleared away from view of gawking tourists, screeching schoolkids, and the odd homeless bloke until something had spooked them.
She accepted a pair of gloves and paper booties from the plod manning the tape as she considered that. Ollie was, outward appearance and broad Yorkshire brogue not withstanding, a good copper with a dozen years in the Met, half of those manning a desk in a Murder Investigation Team. He’d seen the worst people had to offer, all of the various permutations and perversions of death they could dream up. Pete didn’t really want to know what could shake Ollie Heath so much he was hanging back like a first-year probie.
But since he’d called her, it was a fair bet that whatever had shaken Ollie and his team wasn’t any of the usual murder, rape, and torture police counted as routine. If it were murder, rape, or torture of the garden variety, Pete would still be asleep. Murder of the freakish, occult variety—that would make Ollie pick up the phone.
Pete intercepted the medical examiner a few feet from the body. The woman was a new face since Pete had chucked her DI desk at the Met for the freaks, the occult, and the walking movie monsters, and she looked Pete up and down with an unreadable expression.
“Hello,” Pete offered, along with her hand. “Ollie might have told you he asked me to have a look. I’m Pete Caldecott.” The last thing she wanted to do was go treading on toes and starting gossip all over again about the crazy ex-DI who’d taken up with that crazy shite some New Age gits and mumbling schizophrenics called magic.
Which was all true, except for the part about it being shite. It wasn’t, at least not completely. But Pete found that accepting that magic existed, that it was threaded all through their city as surely as roads and rivers and rail track, was the sort of hill most people weren’t willing to hoof over.
“Of course.” The medical examiner shook Pete’s hand. “Dr. Annika Nasiri. Heath told me you might have some insight into the … condition … of the body.”
“Might,” Pete said. “Can’t say until I see it.”
Nasiri stepped aside. “Heard you used to be a detective. I trust that you know enough not to contaminate my evidence?”
“I’ll try and hold back from smearing DNA all over him,” Pete said, kneeling next to the dead man. She made a mental inventory of the victim, as if she were still a cop—white male, early forties at a glance, a little ginger hair up top and a lot on his chin, cultivated the sort of beard favored by adjunct professors and kiddie fiddlers. No injures apparent, aside from the gaping second smile in his throat, of course, and the blood pool under him, nearly as wide as Pete was tall, seeping into the base of the Ramses bust that glowered above her like an irritable graven image.
“You have a guess as to what they cut his throat with?” Pete asked Nasiri, out of habit. Perhaps she’d get lucky, and it would be as simple as a jealous colleague or a spat over a girl, or a boy. Nothing that needed a person familiar with sacrifice and ritual killing to pin the slit throat and the peculiar placement of the corpse as such.
The doctor consulted her tablet PC, screen covered in handwritten notes around an electronic diagram of a body, with the wounds picked out as shaded portions. “Some kind of single-edge blade, long and thin,” she said. “Until I’ve made examination of the wound in my lab I can’t be more specific, I’m afraid.”
“Right then,” Pete said, deciding that if Nasiri wasn’t going to be forward, she would. “What’s spooked you so much you won’t come within three feet of the dearly departed?”
“When my crew started to move the body, one of them lost their grip,” Nasiri said. Her throat bobbed as she swallowed, and her voice constricted down to just above a whisper. “The victim’s shirt slipped open.”
Pete leaned over and tugged aside the collar of the dead man’s cotton Oxford. Her breath hitched in her throat. When she saw his flesh, she understood why Ollie had called.
Cuts covered the dead man’s torso, slices and slashes so precise and intricate they’d make Jack the Ripper weep happy tears. Lines and loops and circles, deep and shallow, cuts over cuts over scar tissue, inflicted over years. Newer wounds had been cauterized, the skin around them black with infection. The older scars grew together, twined like white, shiny vines in a fleshy garden.
The scarring and cutting interlocked to form symbols that had no heads and no tails, but were a continuous pattern over every centimeter of visible skin. They traveled from just under the dead man’s collar, down his chest, and over his stomach, disappearing into the waistband of his trousers. They were nothing familiar to Pete, which was troubling in and of itself. Magical symbolism worked as a kind of shorthand, across all the various disciplines and religions contained within—a pentagram could be co-opted by hairy-legged hippies, true, but it was also shorthand for a white witch, to tell things from the nasty side of magic to step the fuck off.
These symbols were practiced and deliberate, and Pete couldn’t make sense of them, except that they made her head hurt, deep down near the base of her skull. The power in the dead man’s skin vibrated her back teeth, the power that the carvings gave off nearly palpable, like the stench of decay would be in a few more hours. No wonder Ollie and Dr. Nasiri were giving him a wide berth. You didn’t need a talent to sense when something unnatural and rotten was in your psychic space. It was a simple human survival mechanism, to recognize the Other, and run from it fast as your two feet would take you.
Ollie’s voice made Pete start, heart slamming against her rib bones before it began hammering again. “Well?”
Pete pulled the dead man’s shirt open fully, exposing the spreading ruin of scar tissue, down both his arms and peeking out from his cuffs as well. “I think it’s good you called me.”

 
Copyright © 2010 by Caitlin Kittredge

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Customer Reviews

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( 33 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 28, 2011

    AN URBAN FANTASY! BOND GODS BY CAITLIN KITTREDGE

    BONE GODS by Caitlin Kittredge is a urban fantasy.It is written with deth and details. It is the third in the "A Black London Novel" series. but can be read as a stand alone.Although,having read first two would bring the characters together more.Book One "Street Magic, and Book Two "Demon Bound".It has witches,witch hunts,supernatural, necromancers,magic,conflict,treachery,mystery,world domination,and struggles between good and evil.For readers of urban fantasy this is a tense,toug fantasy with banter and dark magic. It is a journey for some of the characters to finding their own.If you enjoy dark urban fantasy you will enjoy this one also.This book was received for the purpose of review from the publisher and details can be found at St. Martins's Paperbacks, published by St. Martin's Press and My Book Addiction and More.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A winner

    Black London is a dangerous place to reside as witches, mages and necromancers fight each other for control with no regard for collateral damage. Adding to the deadly chaos is the deity civil war and the revival of the lethal order of the Malleus who stalk witches with deadly intent.

    Trying to retain order are detectives like Pete Caldecott. A Weir she misses her mentor former punk rocker Jack Winter, who took her under his wings when she was sixteen before he apparently died (see Street Magic). When Pete found Jack, she was euphoric. After drying out from his addiction, Jack was turned into a demon so he fled to hell to keep himself from harming Pete (see Demon Bound). Now Jack is back for the third time in Pete's life as the Commander in Chief of an army of hell's most odious horde with plans to dominate the world. Pete must assassinate her hero in order to save Black London and the world or else.

    This strange but exhilarating Black London urban fantasy (see the anthology Huntress, for a Winter dark novella) takes a third major spin in the Jack-Pete relationship; which gives new meaning to dysfunctional. Although there is an initial déjà vu all over again feel, the twisted fast-paced story line holds reader attention; as Pete is left with the choice of saving the world by killing her mentor-hero. Readers will relish the tale of the heroine's dilemma as she knows what she must do, but fears she will not be able to figuratively squeeze the trigger as the thought of patricide makes her ill.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 23, 2010

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    Great addition to the Black London Series!

    Six months after Jack was taken by the demon, Pete is trying to live without him... and not coming back. Pete is a wreck with loss, surfacing in different forms. Ollie, Pete's old partner, has asked her to come and check out a stiff. As soon as Pete sees the body, she knows there is rather dark magic involved. And all the spiral carving and scars over the dead mans chest and arms, just adds to the mystery along with something completely unrecognizable to her. Pete has a touch of talent to work with magic on her own, but doesn't know how to use it. Can Pete help Ollie? And who else is involved in this case? Pete must follow the leads for this case that she may not want to.

    I enjoyed this book as it is what I wanted to happen. Well, not in the sense of the whole book, but I wanted to see Pete grow, become her own character. And This book delivers on that journey for Pete. Pete is upset with the loss of her lover Jack and trying to carry on what they had in business and life. In this Pete has to stand on her own and try to make things work with other characters that worked with Jack. In making Pete stronger as a character it helps bring some secondary characters to the light a little more. And even introduces us to a few surprising, new characters.

    The story line keeps me guessing and wondering what is going on. Pete makes her suggestions as we go through the book, but I kept wondering if there was something else - deeper darker. We keep getting the small details of the rituals and meanings behind what's going on, and just kept waiting to see how deep the story was going. The more Pete digs, the more we see, and the darker the magic gets. With unexpected turns and characters.

    In this book we learn more of the Black, Weir powers and what the purpose of the weir is. We even learn some on the work between Morrigan and Jack. Caitlin isn't afraid to push her characters and break them, I think that is part of what I enjoy most with this series along with the brutally truthful and humorous banter.

    If you enjoy dark magic and heavy banter, this is definitely a read for you. A great fun journey.

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