Peter Grant has come to the end of his two years as a probationary constable with the Metropolitan Police Service, and is about to get his permanent assignment. He desperately hopes to avoid the Case Progression Unit, i.e., the unit that does the paper work so real cops don't have to. His chances aren't looking good.
Then on what would likely be one of his last shifts as a constable on the street, he guards the scene of a seemingly inexplicable murder, he meets an unexpected and potentially valuable witness: a ghost.
This brings him to the attention of Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who heads up a unit Peter had no idea existed. Specifically, Nightingale heads of the unit that deals with magic, ghosts, the undead, and the genii loci of the surrounding area. Nightingale decides that Peter's ability to see ghosts and sense magical residue makes him a promising apprentice wizard--the first new apprentice in decades.
After some hesitation, Peter decides to seize this chance to escape assignment to the Case Progression Unit. It's not long before he's chasing the malevolent spirit of a dead frustrated actor, attempting to negotiate a peace between a god and goddess of the Thames who are on the brink of war with each other, and learning how the Metropolitan Police Service in the early 21st century deals with a nest of vampires.
And of course, there's the little matter of his lessons in magic, and discovering the tricky aspects of doing magic in the presence of modern technology you'd like to continue using afterwards.
Peter Grant is a thoroughly likable character, who loves his city and who is proud of his police service without being either sloppy or macho about it. He and the London he lives in also reflect the complexity and diversity of the 21st century city, not the 19th century city.
I bought this book.
I really enjoyed the characters and the story. Peter Grant is my new urban paranormal detective. I found the narration distracting, however. I wanted to tell him to slow it down some and take a deep breaths. At points he seemed to literally gasp at the end of a sentence or paragraph. While that type of pacing can add excitement to the narration, when done throughout the book it just gets annoying.
I will listen to the next book in the series because I enjoyed the characters so much.
Librarian to the Evil Empire.
I didn't even realize was thirsty until I drank from this dark well. A friend described the series to me and, intrigued, I gave it a go. My love of procedurals and supernatural made it a natural fit. Since all protagonists are black in my imagination (no matter the story) this book was like a dream come true. I drank down this audio book in 2.5 days.
Not much else to say. Performance was well done and the story was above average. I'll try the next book as well.
Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant
I don’t know why but I just couldn’t get into the story. The characters are interesting and it’s well written but for some reason I just wasn’t into this one. Maybe it’s the fact that Peter is just learning how to do magic so we don’t get to see it that often. That being said the last quarter of the book was very good so maybe some more fun is in store in the next couple! If you’re a huge urban fantasy fan this book is probably for you, but the more casual fans may want to look someplace else.
Mr. Holdbrook-Smith does a good jobs with the characters but sometimes I heard him taking a deep breath in between sentences.
More fun than I've had since I discovered the Jim
Butcher Dresdon Files. Similar tongue-in-cheek style but with it's own flair, Midnight Riot takes the reader on a wild ride through London, past and present, where ghosts walk and talk, and magic is real. Narrated with impeccable skill and charm by Holdbrook-Smith.
My friends on the Discworld forum recommended this series. I'm glad they did, although I had a hard time finding the first book - in the UK the book title is "Rivers of London". If asked to describe this book in as few words as possible, I'd say that it's a combination of The Dresden Files and Discworld.
Peter Grant is a young London cop with aspirations of becoming a homicide detective. Unfortunately, he underwhelms his superiors, and it looks like it's the Case Progression Unit (paperwork squad) for him. Until the night that he's guarding a murder scene. He interviews a witness who, to his shock, is a ghost. Peter then becomes the assistant / apprentice to Detective Chief Inspector Nightingale, who investigates the uncanny happenings in London that are beyond the scope of the rest of the Metropolitan Police.
The plotline moves quickly, but smoothly. The pacing is masterful. Peter is voiced perfectly by the narrator.
One note of caution - if you're not up on your "Britspeak", there are sections that may prove a little difficult.
I bought this on recommendation during a chat- comparing this to Butcher's Dresden novels as one that I might like. I think it falls more in between Dresden and Simon R. Green's John Taylor stories. Not quite as gritty but the elements of them both are there. Some of the story line wandered a bit for my taste. It would jump time and give an explanation of something that the author assumed the listener would know, so it was a bit discombobulated. I would have to stop and think about what was happening before I could catch up. The British slang and such were not a problem though, although a couple of times the reading actually sounded as if they had changed narrators totally, esp at the end of Chapter 9. I did find the breathing sounds he made were a bit distracting.
All in all, it was not a bad listen, so I am off to give book 2 a shot.
Love some of the "sayings" of the locals. Great short story to listen to. Had to finish it at home since we made it home prior to the story finishing, just could not wait to hear what happened.