The Song of the Dead. Book Review

THE SONG OF THE DEAD by Carrie Patel
Angry Robot. p/b. 400pp. £8.99
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

In her attempt to save a man, Malone was arrested. Facing the hangman’s noose, at the very end, she looks up at the sky – something the city dwellers do so rarely – and she laughs. The sky. It is so large. So final. Like the gallows.

Jane Lin has been captured. Now, under question by people whose dialect she can just about make sense of, she will tell them what they want to know – the whole story – because telling stories is what she does best.

Sato’s former Chief of Police finds herself under the orders of another ruler. Her first job under the Lady Lachesse is to investigate Jane Lin. But Malone has had enough of politics. Knowing who to trust and what questions to ask have never been simple, but deciding which side to place her support on is harder than ever.

The third in Patel’s Recoletta series, The Song of the Dead concludes the tale of the buried city of Recoletta and its secrets and the Catastrophe is now revealed for what it was. Familiar characters lead the narrative and are enduringly well-rounded and more than enough to stand up alongside the excellent worldbuilding delivered in this closeted world.

Praise must be given also to the use of dialect. Supporting characters colour the pages with believable and at times sinister language, recognisable, and eerily feasible in our alternative future. This book concludes the series well. All elements of the story are wrapped up leaving the reader wanting for nothing. Recoletta is a solid offering to the dystopian market, fully developed and wholly delivered.