Van has finished reading… Fallible Justice by Laura Laakso

31 Jul

fallible justice

In Old London, where paranormal races co-exist with humans, criminal verdicts delivered by the all-seeing Heralds Of Justice are infallible. After a man charged with murder is declared guilty and sentenced to death his daughter asks private investigator Yannia Wilde to do the impossible and prove the Heralds wrong. But time is short. With just days to prove the impossible, can Yannia save a man who has been judged infallibly?


Laura Laasko’s debut novel, Fallible Justice is the first signed to new indie imprint Louise Walters Books. And what a book to have as your first. From the get-go Laura Laakso’s prose had me in safe hands, and let me know this was going to be a pacy and intriguing ride. Yes, it’s a murder-mystery-detective-story. There are threads aplenty as Yannia tries to pick apart an impossible case, and to the author’s credit none of it is far-fetched or implausible, despite the proximity of magic and all that could invoke. Yes, it’s a magic-laden paranormal fantasy. But rather than shaping the story the magic is finely woven, ever-present but never overpowering, an integral part of the scenery. More than these things, it’s also a book about class and duty, about belonging and standing alone. It’s about the wielding of power, and there is nothing more human than the desire for it and how that desire shapes and misshapes us.

Fallible Justice’s core strength is in the exquisite world-building. It’s in the characters that that world-building really comes through, a perfect mix of the everyday and the extraordinary. Though there are myriad levels of power and schools of magic there’s nothing stale or trite about the depictions, and each person feels very much a product of their school, their clan, their station – the sheer joy of the opening chapter is enough to get you rooting for Yannia straight away. When it comes to the magic it’s a really smart move on Laura Laakso’s part to focus not on the ritual or minutiae but on the effect it has both on those wielding and those on the receiving end. It strengthens the sense of social hierarchy, shows us where characters are weak or strong, and above all saves the bells and whistles of seeing the magic being done for when the stakes, and therefore the tension couldn’t possibly be any higher.

Fallible Justice is a great read, and one I’d have no qualms about recommending to fans of crime fiction, fantasy fiction, commercial or literary. Or simply those who love a good read. The Young Adult market should be all over this one, too. I can’t see any way Yannia and her world wouldn’t appeal! And then there’s the added bonus: there are still two more books in the series to come! I can’t wait.

Fallible Justice is published by Louise Walters Books on the 8th November 2018 ISBN: 9781999780937

You can find Laura on Twitter @LLaaksoWriter

My particular thanks to Louise Walters for allowing me to review this excellent book.


5 Responses to “Van has finished reading… Fallible Justice by Laura Laakso”


  1. Van has finished reading… An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim | vanisreading - 07/08/2018

    […] in my reading that stands on the excellence of its world-building (the first being Laura Laakso’s Fallible Justice). Thea Lim’s image of Polly’s future is chilling and its impact, like The Handmaid’s Tale’s […]

  2. Re-emerging from a Cave… – unFinnished Dreams - 20/08/2018

    […] On the Goodreads page, the ratings are 5 stars across the board. According to my publisher, this review by Van Demal summed up all the reasons why she chose Fallible Justice as the first book for her new imprint. […]

  3. A Q&A with Laura Laakso, author of Fallible Justice | vanisreading - 17/10/2018

    […] the world of Yannia Wilde, and the first in the Wilde Investigations series. You can read my review here, and I am delighted to say that Laura has agreed to answer some questions about her novel, and […]

  4. Van has finished reading… Echo Murder by Laura Laakso | vanisreading - 05/04/2019

    […] is the second in the Wilde Investigations series. Picking up where Laura’s excellent debut, Fallible Justice, left off, there’s tension right from the start with Yannia facing home and all the emotional […]

  5. Van has finished reading… Roots Of Corruption by Laura Laakso | vanisreading - 19/03/2020

    […] with the first two books (Fallible Justice and Echo Murder) the world building is excellent, and aside from a new realm opening up to us in […]

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