As usual, Abnett writes with a sure hand, bringing Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn's dark, cruel world to life. Whereas Xenos is more of a high-octane edge-of-your-seat adventure , "Malleus" ramps down a bit and simmers with a grim, brooding, intensity.
We discover that a hundred years have passed since the events of Xenos but the dark taint of the chaos he tried so hard to eradicate still remains. He is eventually associated with these dark forces and is forced to go on the run and try to find a way to clear his name before it' too late.
Those looking for the same slam-bang action of the first book may be a bit disappointed. Not to say that there's a lack of it but, thankfully, Abnett isn't out to repeat himself, here. Instead, he takes the slow burn approach, letting us into Eisenhorn's mind a bit more and exploring a broader range of emotions that go from exhaustion, seething anger, paranoia, to calm determination to clear his name.
This is, of course part two of a trilogy and Abnett does a good job of expanding not only the world, but also all the characters we've come to know and love. Most importantly though, he raises the stakes with all involved and keeps the reader interested and invested in what will happen to the world and the characters. In the Warhammer universe, NOTHING is ever as it seems and NOBODY is ever safe.