First off, Phillip Rickman, The Cure of Souls. Aaronovitch says
I heard about Phil Rickman's rural fantasy/mysteries when his agent rejected me and cited him as the reason. They said that they already had their supernatural mystery writer, thank you very much, and wouldn't be needing another.Silly silly agent. There's no overlap at all between a male copper/ apprentice magician in London and a female Anglican priest-cum-exorcist in Herefordshire. There isn't even a magic *system* in Rickman.
What there is, for starters, is one of my least favourite tropes, bullying authority figures threatening dire things to deer-in-the-headlights hand-wringy protagonist. OOTP stuff. 'Are you sure Rickman is a man?' I wondered, and checked. He is. Alas, his heroine is a Mary Sue poor wooby. I mean, self-doubt and imposter syndrome and all that happen in RL, I know, but I'd have liked a few more guts to her and a lot less 'oh my god I've failed again.' How can someone take on the devil and all his works when they can't say a word for themselves in the presence of fat-cat execs and hostile vendetta-prone chief inspectors.
And it'd be a bit more like life if the vendetta-prone CI had been a man and not an ice maiden blonde woman.
Still it went down well enough-- unlike the current work where people don't use contractions and do call their aite by his name every paragraph. This is a common fanfic error that the editor (if any) should have caught: you *don't* call people by name that much when talking to them. (Editor should also have cut a lot of the bumpf. I begin to think only Gaiman's prose is as stripped-down as Aaronovitch's, which is saying something. Even Griffin, much as I like her, needs to cut a lot more than she does.)