One year on and Don Drake is back, with a gnome, chasing a Rotman, whatever that is, through the underground tunnels of south London. Don summons demons and he lives with an angel and an archdemon. Wormwood is still around, but Don has him somewhat under the thumb these days, or rather Trixie’s thumb. She may be a half-fallen angel but that is thankfully enough to keep Don’s old foe at bay.
A new client and a new case means Don needs ingredients, which unfortunately means Don needs Wormwood’s help, and under the angel thumb or not it will cost him. Hence traipsing through London’s underground in the company of gnomes searching for a something. His past and the terrible mistake he made are behind him, just, but there may be something just in front of him too.
Dominion is the second in the Burned Man series and continues to follow Don’s antics as he propels himself – or is propelled by others – from one awkward decision to the next overpowering obstacle. Unfortunately Don’s growing feelings towards a certain half-fallen angel may be causing him to miss the obvious.
The story is delivered with the same excellent wit as the first. Its humour is still the main strength here, at times delivered so spectacularly subtly and at others with a brilliant punch. McLean conveys a shining example of dry British humour and a character that glows with it.
Great pace is maintained throughout. You don’t necessarily realise at first how good the narrative flow is. Time moves back and forth allowing Don to explain key moments, such as why he is in the presence of gnomes to help him solve a case that will earn him no fee, but the forward motion of the book’s main narrative is not impacted and we are still easily lulled from one chapter and Don’s latest encounter to the next.