Body and soul. The song. That's what London constable and sorcerer's apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho's 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body - a sure sign that something about the man's death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.
Body and soul - they're also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace - one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard "Lord" Grant - otherwise known as Peter's dear old dad.
©2011 Ben Aaronvitch (P)2012 Tantor
It may take a few minutes of listening to get into the premise of a wizard policeman but it is well worth the effort. And Kobna Holbrook-Smith's voice makes it a pleasure to listen to from the very beginning with his gorgeous narration. He handles accents, dashes of humor and a strong main character effortlessly. In this second book of the series (and I do recommend you check out the book #1 as it is very good) something magical is killing the jazz musicians of London. As the mystery untangles, a menacing villain comes out from the shadow. The subplot of Larry the Lark is a nasty bit of work and makes the Faceless Man truly evil. This is counterbalanced by the humor used by the main characters and descriptions of police procedure that sound plausible to me. Descriptions of London and Londoners make for a fun atmosphere. I highly recommend this series if you are looking for something a little different from mainstream police stories or want some humor in your urban fantasy.
This is a great series, well written with evolving interesting characters. Each book is a clever mix of police procedural, magic, music, and science. This blend of disparate parts could have been overworked but Aronovich strikes a balance between them that and makes for a great tale. The narration is wonderful, managing to take you to the time and place. It's a great pace that makes for a great listen. The narration adds to, but does not overshadow the story.
Moon Over Soho is a worthy follow-up to Rivers of London (a.k.a. Midnight Riot). Young cop / apprentice wizard Peter Grant has two different mysteries on his hands: someone killing men by a particularly gruesome means, and someone else killing jazz musicians and making it look like natural causes -- but leaving enough magical trace evidence behind that even Dr. Walid can pick up on it. He's largely on his own through much of this adventure, as both his mentor and his friend Lesley are recovering from injuries received in the previous outing.
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith proves again that he's the perfect voice for Peter.
This book is definitely worth a credit and a listen.
I've found this series a surprising gem in a sea of mediocre fantasy novels. It's a wonderful mix of modern and mystical.
more info about Peter background (mostly his dad). Bit and pieces of Nightingale past. lots of sex and killing. narrator need too lay off the mumbling Liz
1 Star -- Terrible 2 Stars -- Bad 3 Stars -- Mediocre 4 Stars -- Great to the right person. 5 Stars -- Superb, you must pick this up.
If you've read Midnight Riot, I recommend you go ahead and pick this book up. If you're still uncertain, fine, here's my review:
Everything that made the first book great is here. You have an intelligent, clever, and overly observant protagonist. His view of everything and his actions are all hilarious, but make sense. There is no plot being moved along by stupid, unjustifiable decisions here, and I love it.
Midnight riot was a little meandering and convoluted. That is gone in this book, as it is much more direct. I kind of liked the wandering plot, but without that, there is more of a mystery that the reader gets to figure out on their own.
Really, I'm just going to pretty much blindly recommend this book to people when they want a mystery or fun novel. So if you have even a little interest in this book/series, I say pick it up. I doubt you'll regret it.
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