Ben Aaronovitch has stormed the bestseller list with his superb London crime series. A unique blend of police procedural, loving detail about the greatest character of all, London, and a dash of the supernatural.
A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil; an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common or garden serial killer? Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his case-load. So far so London. But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on an housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans and inhabited by the truly desperate. Is there a connection? And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River?
Full of warmth, sly humour and a rich cornucopia of things you never knew about London, Aaronovitch's series has swiftly added Grant's magical London to Rebus' Edinburgh and Morse's Oxford as a destination of choice for those who love their crime with something a little extra.
Read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Kobna is a Film, Theatre, Television and Radio actor. His television credits include Little Britain, Saxondale, Pulling, Taking the Flak, Star Stories and Sirens; his theatre credits include lead roles at the National, Tricycle, Young Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange, Bush and Shakespeare's Globe theatres and he has also been in numerous BBC radio plays. He has voiced audiobooks by Alastair Reynolds and Ben Aaronovitch for Orion.
©2013 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2013 Orion Publishing Group
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"brilliant and original"
I just love Ben Aaronovitch and can't wait for his books to come out. The reading by Kobna H-S is superb. if you like fantasy and the supernatural you will love these books. They are all excellent.
"Slightly disappointed with this one"
The narration, as always, is brilliant.
Not as good as the others. Too much architecture and not enough plot or twists and turns... until the end, of course.
He brings the characters to life and his use of accents never jars. He also brings a great deal of humour to the story. An unusually good narrator.
Laugh, at times.. Shocked by one particular plot point!
I was disappointed with this one and, sadly, it is my least favourite. (I'm looking forward to Book 5 though!)
"Harry Potter for adults"
Ben Aranovitch picks up where J.K. Rowling left off. This is a series of books (four of them so far with more to come) about a young constable learning to be a wizard and the mysteries he solves and capers he gets up to along the way. We are also introduced to his wizarding master, Nightingale and sundry sidekicks (Leslie etc).
These stories are like candy, the narrator's voice is smooth and does take a little getting used to. He can't pronounce any foreign words to save his life though and these are tooth-gratingly mangled. Overall, I would recommend these as good quality 4 star reads rather than must have 5 stars.
Twist at the end
accents and tone of voice
a good few chuckles
Well recommended - very much forward to book 5 when Ben pull's his finger out and finishes it!!!!!!!
"This book should not have been published"
Boring disjointed story , I got very bored and could not be bothered to get to the end of the book ....a first for me
Do not waste your time listening to this, watching paint dry is far more engaging
"PC Grant goes South"
The great advantage of any audio book is that you can be entertained, entranced and enjoying yourself when stuck in traffic. Broken Homes is no exception but in addition the narration stretches the imagination in directions it might not normally go even beyond the Elephant & Castle.
The whole Peter Grant daga is built on the basis of Newtonian Magic so this one can only be compared with its predecessors. It maintains the high standard of descriptions of London (above ground and below) and its denizens (above ground and below) and their actions (North and South of the Thames)
The range of accents and tones is superb
The understated romantic tension as PC Grant flirts around the special people that flow through the story.
Almost makes me want to spend time in London voluntarily (Almost but not quite - I still need to be paid to be there in real life but I'll pay to hear Kobna and Ben's next installment)
"Not my favourite"
I read Rivers of London & forgot I hadn't warmed to the characters. I was attracted by the cover - I find the book a little confusing & the characters are not always believable. I find myself waiting for it to end so I can start another. Sorry.
"My new obsession"
Trapped at home with pneumonia following an operation, I'd downloaded and listened to everything I could bear to listen to and on a random whim downloaded the first in this series of brilliant books: Rivers of London. Since then, in quick succession, I've downloaded all of them, and this is the fourth.
OK, if you've not heard of them, they're a rich and heady mixture of very modern real and fantasy police procedural, mythology, magic, legend and history, bound together with a deep knowledge and understanding of London and sprinkled with elements of horror and very funny, urban contemporary observation. The hero is a young mixed-race PC, hip, dry, intelligent and a true Londoner. There are many sly allusions to Pratchett (probably a near relation), Tolkien, Hogwarts etc. The books are in fact a complete joy. By the way, You don't have to be a Londoner to love these books, any more than you have to come from Edinburgh to enjoy the Rebus books or for that matter be Californian to enjoy Chandler or a mid 19th century Victorian to like dickens. (Ben Aaronovitch apparently writes for Doctor Who, but don't let that put you off.)
This particular books USP is a profound understanding of architecture, in particular the invention of a totally convincing and imaginary post-war modernist architect, bound up with contemporary conservation issues and -yes - your urban dryad.
They are read brilliantly and convincingly by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith - I can't imagine any other voice. I am now obsessively awaiting volume five: I've even had to buy the books in hardback to own them.
Ben makes London more of a character than a setting and the writing is great.Can't wait to read more in the future
Everyone! especially Zach and Nightingale
Kobna really gets into character and after James Marsters' Dresden his is the best experience I had listening to an urban fantasy series.
Yes! I almost did Listen to it in one sitting
I love these books - they're a British take on the Dresden Files, but more Police Procedural and with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith really pulling off the 'dry as you like narration', and with London and her denizens and defenders making up the supporting roles.
However, someone picking up this book would be pretty deep in the dark about a lot of things. The series has now built up enough lore that it needs a bit of commitment for maximum enjoyment.
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