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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Attractive cast of characters.
Original, ironic and imaginative take on the Met and crime.
Will I get the next book? I'm not hugely drawn, the plot is a touch facile, could blank out at times without losing a great deal. But yes, I'll enjoy another.
"Absolutely Magical! "
I was glued right from beginning to end! Fabulously written & brilliant choice of narrator!
Loves it. I had read the book before listening to this. The story was beautifully realised brilliantly performed.
"Had to keep listening!"
I bought this audio book for my husband as he enjoys crime & thriller novels.
Having to make many train journeys recently I started to listen to the reciting story, I was always disappointed to reach my destination and had to stop listening.
If you enjoy crime with a twist of magic (quite a big twist) then this is the book for you. Excellent reader to add to the pleasure.
"The Bill meets The Unknown"
I loved the attention given to the locations and history of London. I followed the narrative with a map! Also, the very straight description of Met Police procedure and culture mixed with matter-of-fact encounters with the supernatural is a great device.
The narrative was quite complex -- unique, really -- and was handled very well. The book wavered a bit at the end with the plot slightly falling over itself, but I will soon start the second book in the series.
For me personally this book didn't work. I listen to my books and I found the speed of the reading, even at the slowest speed, to be too fast. To be fair this may be because the subject matter didn't engage me. I know we are all very different but this is my first audible book that I have not finished. I was bored but I see from reviews others have enjoyed it so maybe that tells me that if I revisit it at some time in the future I may find what I missed this time?
"Fantastic story, FANTASTIC narration"
Take your modern, streetwise metropolitan copper, throw him into a dark crime novel, weave in a gorgeous patchwork of London nostalgia, spice up with magic, and garnish with humour. This is one of the best crime/magic novels I've read, and Kobna Holdbrook Smith's mastery of all characters take him way beyond the realms of a gifted narrator - he's a gifted impressionist! Best narration I've heard so far, bar none.
Too many to mention.
Kobna Holdbrook Smith's narration is truly brilliant!! He somehow manages to convincingly impersonate every single character. Not just a narrator, but a damn fine impressionist to boot! All in all this makes for one hell of a package. In fact it was so good that I automatically bought the rest of the books in the series as soon as I had finished it!
"Story good. Execution poor."
It felt rushed in many sections and badly edited in a couple. I'm not sure the narrator got to grips with all the characters and at times it sounded like he wanted to get to the end quickly so he could get the early train home. The story was original though and with a more considered approach, would be a good listen.
Recommended by my daughter it kept my interest and had some well written one liners throughout.
Strong story, read by an excellent voice. But the reader has some form of asthma, so he wheezes and gasps his way through sentences that he often incorrectly emphasises. Quite off-putting!
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