Wail is a most unusual urban fantasy set in London. The author has taken the myth of the banshee, a wailing woman compelled to wash the bloody clothes of the dying, and placed her in modern London where she lives rough on the banks of the Thames.
Clotilde died back in 1944, and came back as a banshee. Her uncontrollable urge to find a river when the spectral bloody clothes and compulsion comes upon her makes it hard for her to live the normal life she craves. She doesn’t even know what the point of her existence really is. She meets a rich American who tries to help her and after a battle of wills due to her independent spirit, they end up stalking a serial killer who believes that ‘the wrath of the river spirits will cleanse London if he can offer enough blood sacrifices to draw them nearer’.
The writing is good, the idea intriguing, the characters complex and likable—if you don’t mind one who quite often runs sobbing to the river—and the plot is interesting enough. What brings the book down is the few copy errors, not too many but enough to be worth mentioning, and the excessive repetition of the serial killers thoughts. In the end, the book becomes a kind of murder mystery and not a particularly complex one at that. Nevertheless it is worth a read if you’re looking for a reliable read.