Dominion is the second book in McLean's 'Burned Man' series but is contained enough to work as a stand-alone novel (and I know because I hadn't read the first, 'Drake', when this popped through the letter box.
The 'hero' of Dominion is Don Drake, a diabolist and former hitman who is conned into going up against The Rotman, an entity that is destroying the underparts of London. When Rotman turns out to be the archdemon Bianakith Drake soon realises he is out of his depth - and Bianakith is only the beginning. With his unrequited love interest, his Guardian Angel (almost fallen Angel) Trixie and his patron, The Burned Man he still needs every trick up his sleeve to save the day.
Drake is an interesting lead, a mix of Harry Dresden and Felix Dexter with maybe a bit of Bobby Dollar thrown. He seems a bit worn down by life and having Trixie living with him is affecting him (he seems equal parts in love and in fear of her), as is keeping The Burned Man in a 9 inch tall fetish in a spare room. Drake likes a drink and swears a lot but, for me, that makes him more believable. Events later in the story leave him even more 'put upon' but I'm not going into those here - wouldn't want to spoil the fun for you.
With stories like this the supporting cast are essential to get right and McLean has done just that. The crowd in Wormwood's club, a supernatural meeting place, for example, are various shades of grey, any of them could be friend or foe. Even Drake isn't sure who he can and can't trust.
Dominion is very much a Dark Urban Fantasy tale and the London setting, as it usually does, serves the story well. The city is dark and grimy, the lower levels, below the Underground and populated by Gnomes, is even darker and grimier and is also rotting away (thanks to The Rotman). Will Drake and friends save the day, save the Gnomes and save the city? That's for you to find out but you'll enjoy the journey - I know I did
As I said at the beginning of this review Dominion is the second book in the series but, and this is where it feels Peter McLean has been really clever, there is enough here to inform you of past events (in 'Drake') but not enough to make reading the previous novel unnecessary - in fact I'm planning on reading 'Drake' as soon as I get chance. I also feel that, with everything that is going on in the backstory, the whole tale of Don Drake has a lot more to offer and more surprises to reveal