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Poison City

(Delphic Division #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  432 ratings  ·  110 reviews
The name's Gideon Tau, but everyone just calls me London. I work for the Delphic Division, the occult investigative unit of the South African Police Service. My life revolves around two things - finding out who killed my daughter and imagining what I'm going to do to the bastard when I catch him.

I have two friends. The first is my boss, Armitage, a fifty-something DCI from
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 11th 2016 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published August 9th 2016)
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4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  432 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー
4.5 stars

"Durban, a city where everything goes...Durban's a schizophrenic mix of colours and impressions; a serial killer trying to present a facade of normality to the world, grey 1970s buildings painted in green and red to lighten up the drabness; dusty skyline shading up from sepia to blue. Street signs advertising craft markets and Mhuti doctors."

This was so good - not only was it as South African as you can get, but it was a unique urban fantasy with some interesting new takes on the genre
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poison City

WTF did I just read!

Gideon Tau, an occult investigator and his alcoholic, talking dog spirit guide, in a story with every kind of supernatural being you have ever heard of and many you haven't while he tries to find out who killed his daughter and stay alive.

It's some kind of f***ed up, bloody, paranormal Tarantino film and I loved it.

* I received a free copy in a Goodreads giveaway *
K.J. Charles
Urban fantasy of the 'policemen in Occult Crimes division' type set in Durban. The setting is pretty vividly done, but the rest is fairly routine for the genre, including the lead: a hard-drinking male cop who doesn't play by the rules with the murdered daughter and the ex wife who left him but who he still oh god men *please* stop writing this.

Very violent, but though the hero is constantly beaten up and even killed at one point it never seems to hold him back because he is Hard Drinking Cop. P
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
As always me fellow Goodreaders, this review is also available on my blog for your perusal at

4.5 stars!

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Poison City is the first book in Paul Crilley's new urban fantasy series of books. Focusing on Gideon Tau (nickname - London Town as he's British and Tau sounds like town), his spirit guide 'the dog' and his boss Armitage and set in South Africa, Durban to be precise
Maraya21 (The Reading Dragon)
🐕 They shut up & took my monies. Now, time to get read! Roped in the MacHalos as well cause I can and also if there's anyone who likes mean drunks & violence it's definitely not us 🐕

4.5 Stars

Sitting here is a morning routine. Waiting while I try to slip into character. While I remember what it’s like to be me.
Sometimes it takes me five minutes, sometimes twenty.
Everyone wears a mask. To fit in. To hide the real person inside. Because, let’s face it. If we didn’t have masks, if we all sa
Liz Barnsley
Poison City is adorable…

Oh who am I kidding? Poison City is fricking nuts, completely utterly beautifully crazy. With dog.

I loved every minute of it. Urban fantasy at its brilliant best with a banging addictive story, characters to die for and thought provoking, intensely insightful glances at human nature in all its terrible glory. With vampires.

This is like Urban Fantasy Noir – its kind of like one of those old school detective stories, where the bars are smoky, the conversation is peppered wi
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
If, like me, you are itching for the next Peter Grant book, I recommend Poison City as the perfect salve.

Gideon Tau is a member of Delphic, the division of South Africa’s occult police force charged with the thankless task of bringing a bit of law and order to the gods, demons, vampires and fae who flock to Durban from across Africa and the world. Tau is a wise-cracking, hard drinking British transplant who, along with his sidekick ‘Dog’, gets intimately involved with a criminal plot which goes
Heather Duff
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Any book that features a talking, bitching, wise ass, slightly magical drunk dog will automatically get upon my reading list, I mean what is not to love? In fact I would go as far to say as the dog needs a spin off series. He is awesome.

Anyway its not all dog related, he has of course an owner/partner/skivvy, Gideon Tau. A policeman who has upped sticks from London town (London is also his nickname) to South Africa, Durban to be exact. He is not a run of the mill copper, he works for the Delphic
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
* I was sent this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review *

This is an urban fantasy book, and let me start out by saying that urban fantasy is often a genre that I don't tend to love as much as high/epic fantasy (hence the slightly lower rating). This book is slightly different from the 'average' urban fantasy in that it's set in South Africa. I liked that it wasn't the typical set up, and there were a few moments in the book where I felt as though I enjoyed seeing that
Lynn Williams
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Poison City is the first in a new Urban Fantasy series by Paul Crilley set in South Africa. The main protagonist, one Gideon Tau (nicknamed London Town) works for the Delphic Division of the South African police force. The Delphic Division keep all the supernaturals in the City from misbehaving and given the number of other worldly critters out there it isn’t an easy job! At the start of the story London is about to investigate the death of a ramanga who d
Adam Blond
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Supplied as an advance copy from my wife's book shop. The first time I have given 5 stars on good read. I don't like to give spoilers so I stay away from plots in reviews. The book is set in South Africa (I've never been) so the cities and areas covered do have a real basis as do some of the local practices. The book is definitely for adults. There are some disturbing scenes where humans show their worst and best traits. Great writing style. Great characters human and non-huma ...more
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great fun!! Definitely worth the time. Chatacters are hilarious and setting although a little familiar with other urban fantasy settings, is a blast. Hopefullly a 2nd book on the way.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2018
Gideon Tau, called London by most of his colleagues due to his English origins, works for the Delphic Division of the South African Police, investigating supernatural crime. With his spirit guide (a talking dog with a penchant for anything alcoholic) and a few magical tricks up his sleeve he deals with whatever crimes cross his desk, kills the occasional god, and tries to find the man who killed his daughter. A seemingly open-and-shut murder case involving a slaughtered vampire, complete with CC ...more
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, hach
I'm really not sure what to make of this book. It started out with strong flavours of Men In Black (complete with a sarcastic, talking dog) but it quickly morphed into a social commentary on the evils of human nature, before finishing spectacularly with a twist on the biblical apocolypse. It was certainly thought provoking. The lead character Gideon Tau was so, well, human. I do think that the dog could have played a much stronger part in the story. But of course there will be a follow-on so may ...more
I have to say up front that I liked this story. I just had to suspend belief and let myself be drawn into the plot. From it's promo it was probably not a book I would have chosen to read and I was surprised that I liked it so much. Fun if you are into the supernatural.
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fancy, funny, dark and with a brilliant cast of characters. Gideon Tau is one to watch. Imagine Paul Cornell and Ben Aaronovitch got together with Lauren Beukes and you're on the right track.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-and-fantasy
Perhaps I've just read too many supernatural crime novels but I really didn't feel this brought anything new to the party. It's not a bad book, it's well written, the characters are interesting, the South African setting and Gods are a bit different and if you enjoy Ben Aaronovitch and Jim Butcher you will most probably really enjoy it, but I can't say I'm desperate to read the next in the series.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally a crime novel I am able to enjoy. Far away from the traditional ones, of course, with magic and mythological creatures being the main elements. Crilley writes good in his first adult novel, and the book does not have any boring segment. But he should really find some other words to use instead of "frown" when describing people/creatures and their reactions.
Sergio Pereira
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. The story is engaging, funny, and entertaining. Highly recommended.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read for me. I loved the wise cracking demonic dog and the way the book followed London's investigation into the disappearance of some children, stumbling from one clue to the next and getting leads from the people who are trying to kill him. This is a must read for anyone who likes the Dresden Files.
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Gideon ‘London’ Tau is about as burnt out an occult investigator as you are ever likely to meet. A personal trauma has left him alone and angry at the world. The only thing that keeps him going is the thought of revenge against those who caused him pain. Unbeknownst to the vast majority of humanity, supernatural entities are real and it is up to Tau and his colleagues to keep their little corner of Africa safe from harm. I warmed to Gideon Tau immediately. You can’t beat a down at heel hero with ...more
Do you like books that involve:

magic? (+ Harry Potter references in jokes!)
vampires, angels, faeries and all the possible fantasy characters out there?
talking dogs?
bad-ass fighting scenes?
sarcastic sidekicks?
British characters with undeniably British humor?

If you answered 'yes' to any of the questions (or better- to all of them) you are in luck! Because this book has it all and more! I enjoyed it so much that I don't know if I'll be able to write it all down. This book made
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
Gideon Tau (better known as London Town to his colleagues) works in the occult investigative unit in the South African police force called the Delphic Division. Since his daughter was kidnapped and murdered, his life has fallen to pieces. His girlfriend has left him, all he does is work, drink and obsess about who killed his daughter Cally. He has two friends left: his fifty-something year old boss Armitage, another UK ex-pat from Yorkshire, and his spirit guide, a talking dog who loves to watch ...more
The Inked Reader
3.25 stars

I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and I was pretty excited to read it since Urban Fantasy is a genre that I tend to like.
However, urban fantasy is one of the genre that often gets an average of 3.5 stars from me. In short, good but not great. Alas, the same went for this book.
I loved the start, we have a pretty peculiar African settings, a mean and talking dog and a protagonist that does not walk away from a good fight. There were a lot of different creatures from all kinds of r
Nick Brett
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this, a dark urban fantasy set in South Africa. The location is slightly irrelevant so don’t let it put you off. The world presented to us has a strong element of non-human beings at a number of levels from low level daemons to Gods and Angels. The majority of the population are unaware of the “other side” but the authorities are aware and have a specialist Police Unit that deal with related crimes and issues.
Our hero of the story is a man with an agenda and has the ‘help’ of ta
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Coarse, violent and far fetched, this is urban fantasy at its most fun and exhilarating.
This monster filled romp set in South Africa chronicles the hap hazard life of Gideon Tau, a reckless detective working for a not so discreet branch of peace keepers (armed with bullets made of poo, hand grenades and magic wands), as he is thrust into a conspiracy held by those at the highest levels of government and by the glorious heavens themselves. A conspiracy riddled with a multitude of devious sins an
Geraldine Redfern
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars

2016 has been the year that I have really delved into fantasy. I guess with all the shit going on this year, worlds where magic exist have been a very pleasant diversion.

This book is everything I love about fantasy. Mythical beings, lots of magic, fast paced action, talking dogs and the fight between good and evil.

I loved all the references to other fantasy worlds. They were amusing and showed a real depth of knowledge and appreciation of the genre. The quote from The Fifth
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A good detective mystery with supernatural elements. Fans of the Peter Grant series should definitely check this out. 4/5 stars.

This review was originally posted on my book blog.

This reminded me a lot of the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch. You’d just need to age Peter 20 years, give him some tragic life experience, transfer him to South Africa and make him work for a larger law enforcement unit with a cool secret base of operations and far more resources… Well, anyway… you’ll just have to
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-read, for-review
Full review available at Worlds in Ink

Paul Crilley’s Poison City is the fantastical love child of Supernatural and a Lauren Beukes novel. Part urban fantasy, part crime novel this is a pure twisted reading delight. You’ll never be able to look at humanity in quite the same way. Highly recommended! Just be warned that it does get quite dark
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
A Goodreads giveaway win

Poison City by Paul Crilley is a really good read, I enjoyed it a lot. I found it easy to read & get into, I loved the story, it full of action, magic, angels, vampires, it kept me hooked right to the end. There is a lot packed into this book, it doesn't get boring at all. I found that once I had started reading it was difficult to stop as I was compelled to read more. absolutely brilliant book. love it
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Paul Crilley is a Scotsman adrift in South Africa and has been writing professionally for the past 17 years. In that time he has worked on over thirteen television shows, one of which was nominated for an international Emmy award.

He has written eight novels, worked on five computer games, and also written comics for IDW. His previous novels include The Invisible Order books, a middle grade series

Other books in the series

Delphic Division (2 books)
  • Clockwork City (Delphic Division, #2)
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