The Domino Men, Jonathan Barnes, 2009, ISBN 9780061671401
This contemporary fantasy novel is about a file clerk suddenly thrust into the middle of a life-or-death battle over the future of Great Britain.
Henry Lamb is the sort of average person who exemplifies the term "civil servant." One day, he is taken to the giant ferris wheel called the London Eye, where he meets a humanoid being named Dedlock living in a tank of amniotic fluid. Henry is forcefully recruited into The Directorate, one of those super-secret organizations that doesn’t officially exist.
For the past century and a half, The Directorate has been fighting an all-out war against the British Monarchy. Queen Victoria agreed to a "deal with the devil"; she signed over London and all its inhabitants to a multi-limbed being called Leviathan. Dedlock, who was one of the Queen’s advisors, vowed to use any means at his disposal to stop it. Now the bill is coming due.
Henry was recruited because his grandfather, now hospitalized in a deep coma, was a former high-ranking member of The Directorate. All Henry has to do is to find a woman named Estrella, who is the key to everything, in time to keep Leviathan from rising out of the Thames, and destroying London.
In a cellar of 10 Downing Street, in an ultra-secure prison cell, are the Domino Men, the most feared serial killers in British history. They are two young men, who dress like British schoolboys, and who think nothing of killing large numbers of people, giggling the whole time. They seem to instantly know a person’s deepest fears and insecurities, and enjoy exploiting the heck out of them. The Domino Men say that they know where Estrella is, and are taken out under very heavy police guard. They don’t stay in custody for very long. Can Henry find Estrella and stop Leviathan before it turns London into a giant insane asylum?
Here is a wonderful piece of writing. It’s nice and strange without being too strange, it does very well as a thriller and it will certainly keep the reader’s interest.
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