My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly valuable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. Now I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden... and there's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair. The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or die trying.
©2011 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited
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"Excellent imagination in a London Travelogue"
Really good tale, drawing on myth, folklore, history and the geography of the greatest city in the world.
The author unfolds the story steadily then zaps you with something out of left field, read in an alost breathless fashion.
The performance was not faultless but did get intothe character - the resourceful London copper who tries not to be thrown by anything that comes his way. Nice variation and pacing.
Made me laught at times. Got my empathy going too.
Need to read more in this series!
The story was OK, though not too exciting. Picked as I thought it would be a bit different from other books I have listened to, which it was, but it just didn't grab me.
Would not put anybody off listening to this, but just turned out to not be my cup of tea
Well worth re-listening to pick up details, such a richly detailed world
Had several friends recommend this series - now I'm going to have to get the rest of the books!
"Well, now I'm addicted!"
Having been listening for most of my life, it's unusual that a book grabs me in the way that this and the subsequent books did.
I've been explaining it as similar to the Discworld books, especially the Guards, but more so to Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
It was particularly evocative with the ending of the Leslie/Peter plot in this book, although it is continued through the series.
Fantastic. Wonderful. Well-deserved notoriety.
"Wonderful if not for the gender weirdness"
The narrator was great; no complaints. The book itself COULD have been brilliant, if not for the pigeonholed genders. Male characters were interesting, flawed, wise, multi-layered, with lots of variety amongst stars and lots of bit parts; female characters were perky or sexy or a host of other female stereotypes. The rivers were great but could have been so much better. I wound up deciding it was the main character who was baseline problematic, rather than the author, because I liked the rest of the story so much. Isn't THAT an age-old story?
"Great book with excellent narration"
Everything. SOmething happening all time. The amount of research put into these series is amazing. Loved the little "details" about London.
The narrator is AMAZING! He gets all the right accents, he really is all those characters and therefore it is difficult to pick one. I forgot it is read by one man only straight off.
The underworld of the undeworld of London?
This is more that worth the credit. I am inpatiently waiting the newest one in series as I have nothing so good to listen to! Hurry up Ben and Kobna!
"A quirky take on an established theme"
I would listen to this book again. The humour would make re listening a pleasure
Nothing else. This is truly an original piece of writing.
I enjoyed the beginning. I did not know what I was letting myself in for - had not read the blurb or reviews thoroughly - so was quite shocked when the whole magical idea was introduced.
The ending. To expand upon this would need a significant spoiler alert though!
This book started in a strange way and then just got stranger. I like strange. It’s sort of Inspector Morse meets Harry Potter. Then there’s the travelogue bit in there – lots of interesting information about London; and the self deprecating humour of our protagonist, Peter Grant. So we’ve got standard detective novel – with magic, a bit of the Rough Guide to London thrown in with a touch of the ‘Roddy Doyles’ to lighten the mood.
Peter Grant is young policeman fresh out of Hendon Police College who finds himself recruited to a small branch of the Met’ that deals with investigating the supernatural. Grant is an engaging character and his relationship with fellow newly qualified police officer, Lesley May, develops and sustains our interest throughout the book.
Together they become involved in investigating and solving interwoven crimes that take place in the capital. The addition of magic and the supernatural adds a layer of freshness and quirky innovation to this established format.
It is a terrific read / listen. I would recommend to anyone looking for something just a little bit different.
"A Department for Everything"
A good story and as a Met Police Officer, the procedural aspect was true to life,,, Not that we have a Department for Ghosts, well I don't think we have but it wouldn't surprise me, we have specialist units for everything else.
Well delivered and clear but he was let down a bit by some of the terminology. ACPO is not A.C.P.O., its pronounced AKPOE and there was lots of other mispronounced bits of lingo. Still it only annoys you if your in the Job, overall a great listen.
"Gripping story, if far fetched!"
This is a thrilling but fantastic story combining supernatural plots with old fashioned myths and legends.
This audiobook would have been a page turner for me, as it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.
Not being a Londoner I wished at times that I had a map to track the locations, and I found some of the plot twists far fetched even for fantasy genre, but even so it was a very enjoyable ride.
"10 mins in and I was hooked"
R.O.L. Was far and away one of the best books I have listed to. This book might make you even like the police a little more. The descriptions of London are so vivid you feel as if you are there, this book just gets modern city living and makes it a bit more magical.
My favourite character was Peter Grant, funny down to earth and relatable, what's not to like. Even though the situations are far fetched this character is in on the joke.
I haven't listened to any other performances but Holdbrook-Smith's voice is just right for Peter and I couldn't imagine him sounding any other way.
Absolutely, I had to know what happened in the end.
Brilliant series of books once you have finished this you will be itching to start the next one.
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