Title: The Fox’s Curse
Author: Sarah Painter
Genre: Urban fantasy
Rating: 5 Stars
“A cursed Fox. A vengeful Silver. A whole lot of trouble…
Lydia Crow has long suspected there is more beneath London than just trains, but has never been keen to poke around in the dark. But when Paul Fox, powerful member of the Fox Family, blackmails her into taking a case, she has no choice.
Investigating a suspicious death in a disused tunnel of the London Underground for her ex-boyfriend causes friction between her and DCI Fleet – and not the fun kind.
Uncle Charlie is still pressuring her to work for the Family business, her ghostly flatmate is looking for answers about his own demise, and Maria Silver is out for blood. Preferably Lydia’s.
With old alliances broken, it’s harder for Lydia to know who to trust. There is a big choice up ahead and it’s getting closer by the second. Lydia has to find a path in the darkness – and fast.“
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This is a series I really need to get in paperback one day, bookshelf space be damned. The Fox’s Curse is book three in the Crow Investigations series by Sarah Painter. After stamping five stars on both book one, The Night Raven and book two, The Silver Mark, book three has proved to hold the standard of the series.
Lydia Crow has been getting into trouble ever since she moved into her uncle’s flat, rent-free, above one of the family business, a café called The Fork. But when her ex-boyfriend and son of London’s Fox family, Paul, blackmails her into taking a case, Lydia isn’t as suspicious as she should be. Her new boyfriend, DC Fleet on the other hand, is especially so.
Lydia explores the abandoned parts of the London underground in search of answers to Paul’s vague request to investigate. When she finds a dead body belonging to a member of the Fox family, her professional curiosity won’t let her leave the mystery alone.
Finally allowing herself to let Fleet into her life a little more on a professional and a personal basis, Lydia sets out to learn who this man is and how he died. Along the way, she and her ghostly roommate Jason experiment with her ever-growing powers, to the point that Jason can actually leave The Fork, the venue he and his new wife died in.
Lydia is more determined to get answers and justice than she is to protect herself and it comes across as both reckless and admirable. She is so tentative to explore her magic but her curiosity gets the better of her. Worse still, expanding on her magic has drawn her uncle Charlie’s attention and he is slowly trying to envelope her in the “family business”. That is to say, grooming her to become the next magical mob boss of the Crow family.
This story is thoroughly unpredictable, highly entertaining and at times, my heart dropped through my stomach and hit the floor. The Fox’s Curse maintains the signature dark feel of the series and actually builds on it because heck knows Lydia is getting into way more trouble than she did in The Silver Mark.
I’m in two minds about whether Lydia will end up leading the Crow family. It could be a really good idea or a really bad one. While Lydia has the skills and intelligence to lead one day, she is still a bit naïve when it comes to the dynamics of the four families and how they operate today.
I’m really looking forward to learning what happens with Lydia’s powers and learning how Jason and his wife died. Both are touched on in this book but neither are concluded and I can’t wait to learn about both!
The Fox’s Curse is a fairly fast-paced book, well written and thoroughly entertaining. It definitely helps to have read The Night Raven and The Silver Mark before reading this one as it’s the third book in the series. Some of the plot points won’t make sense without the context the previous books provide. But this entire series is a must-read for fans of dark urban fantasy!
The Fox’s Curse has earned it’s stamp:
Thanks for reading! Did you know I also write urban fantasy books? You can check them out here!