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
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.
Ben Aaronovitch's "Rivers of London" series is the best urban fantasy since Kate Grenville's "Midnight Mayor" series. This second book didn't quite match the first, for me, because Peter was so obviously stupid throughout, but it ended with a bang, and it also ties up some vital loose ends from book 1, as well as introducing what will become an important plotline in book 3 (and probably beyond), so it's well worth the time.
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith does a masterful job with the narration, all the voices and accents. Whoever he is, he should read more things.
It's clever, intelligent, smart, well written...did I mention clever? The underlying "magic or other things uncanny" theme is handled on such a high brow level that you don't feel condescended to at all. There is much to learn here, too: history of London, history of magic, other history in general. Also love learning more British slang. I thought a punter was someone who poled a boat.
Someone is killing jazz men in London and has been for some years. Same person/people?
Peter and Thomas are a toss up, but Peter may edge out a little just because he is in this one more.
So many to choose from. Each small piece is a large building block. Can't choose. The scenes with Lesley are heart rending. I am looking forward to more of Lesley.
Laughed a lot. Squirmed a bit, too.
Why isn't Ben Aaronovitch more famous? This book, and the rest of the series, is amazing. Magic, science, police procedural mystery, and laugh out loud funny! And the performance is in the top 1% of anything on audible.
Beautiful storytelling and storyline. More real than reality. more worthwhile than most fiction of this century.
I love the whole series by Ben Aaronovitch, but it may be because of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. His voice for Peter and for Nightingale is so PERFECT. He does different accents wonderfully (except for his American accent in a later sequel), and he exemplifies what it means to enjoy an audiobook.
I love Nightingale. I wish there was more of him.
Every performance I've heard from him in this series has been SO SO GOOD. I'm considering buying some audiobooks that don't even sound like my taste just to hear his narration again. It exemplifies what audiobooks can be.
I loved this series so much more than I thought I would. Its worth listening to every single book in the series - you won't regret it.
This is the second book I have read in this series. I preferred the content of the first book, but this was just as captivating. Can't wait for the next one. The pictures the narrator brings to focus do not go away.
Clever story, well written and full of excellent geek references. Kobna Holdbrook Smith has a gorgeous voice and his pacing, delivery and voice acting are among the best of the hundreds of audiobooks I have listened to over the years. The combination of good story and excellent delivery make the whole series well worth your credits. (Do start with the first one as this is the second in the series)
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