My name is Peter Grant, and I am a keeper of the secret flame - whatever that is.
Truth be told, there's a lot I still don't know. My superior Nightingale, previously the last of England's wizardly governmental force, is trying to teach me proper schooling for a magician's apprentice. But even he doesn't have all the answers. Mostly I'm just a constable sworn to enforce the Queen’s Peace, with the occasional help from some unusual friends and a well-placed fire blast. With the new year, I have three main objectives, a) pass the detective exam so I can officially become a DC, b) work out what the hell my relationship with Lesley Mai, an old friend from the force and now fellow apprentice, is supposed to be, and most importantly, c) get through the year without destroying a major landmark.
Two out of three isn’t bad, right?
A mutilated body in Crawley means another murderer is on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, who may either be a common serial killer or an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man - a man whose previous encounters I've barely survived. I've also got a case about a town planner going under a tube train and another about a stolen grimoire.
But then I get word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the truly desperate. If there's a connection to the Crawley case, I'll be entering some tricky waters of juristiction with the local river spirits. We have a prickly history, to say the least.
Just the typical day for a magician constable.
©2014 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2014 Penguin Audio
I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!
Great melding of language, acting, and writing. Doesn't get old. Can't wait for the next book. Read it. You will like it. I love it.
The story and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith were made for each other!
The roof scene.
Super wide range of voices, the accuracy of the accents and his perfect expression of what the written words were meant to convey. Bravo!
Yes! And I am still enjoying it for the third time!
Cannot wait until the release of Foxglove Summer in November!
This is not only a terrific and creative series of stories: I can't be sure I'd like the books so much, were they not narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. It's as though the author (Ben Aaronovitch) was channeling the narrator as he wrote. His fit to the main character/narrator is uncanny. And of course, brilliant.
I so hope that Ben Aaronovitch keeps up with this series (Rivers of London). I feel like I'm missing great friends when I am between books...
I have only listened to the audio edition but I very much enjoy having a story read to me as I drive or prepare to sleep.
Peter Grant, the hero of the story. Peter is a rookie constable with the London Police Force who in the first book of the series, discovered he could see ghosts. Because of this he has been recruited by Detective Thomas Nightingale who heads the department which investigates crimes done using supernatural means of some sort. Peter not only is a policeman, but Nightingale has begun teaching him magic which he is not very good at. What he excels in is getting involved with the Gods and Godesses of the many rivers of London and England and in this book, he, Nightingale and Leslie, his partner, all provide security for a meeting of the God & Godess of the upper and lower Thames. Leslie is his partner in police work, friendship and is also taking magic lessons from Nightingale. Peter has a good heart, good intentions but it is often Leslie or Nightingale who pulls him out of magical situations where Peter has gotten in over his head.
This narrator brings a British ambience to this book that I would not experience reading it. He speaks with a British accent and brings the various characters to life. It would be very different to read the writings of Ben Aaronavitch after having listened to this narrator read them.
I enjoyed this book very much. I usually do not listen to new books immediately, but I could hardly wait for this book to finish downloading. I can't wait until book 5.
Broken Homes is the fourth in the Peter Grant series. I am still amazed at how much I enjoy this series. The old familiar characters are back with new twists and turns. I am giving the story four stars instead of five only because I got a bit lost in the theory of why the bad guy was doing what he was doing. If you like a bit of the supernatural, a bit of the police procedural, and a bit of the absurd, this is where you will find it.
Still an excellent job by the narrator.
The story was good and interesting. The ending was unexpected and leaves you wanting for the next book in the series.
Fast moving, clever, irreverent
Peter Grant. You have this young policeman who sees a ghost (Midnight Riot - the first of the series), gets pulled into a secret branch of the Metropolitan Police that deals with magic and supernatural occurrences and his reactions are spot on through the whole series. I love how he slides in oblique references to modern culture.
Peter Grant is the child of a jazz musician and an immigrant from Sierra Leone. He was born in London, loves London and Kobna Holbrook-Smith nails him (at least for me). He sounds exactly like I pictured him while first reading the books. He also manages to change his voice just enough not to sound silly while doing the women characters. I never get lost trying to figure out who is talking
Midnight Riot, Moon Over Soho, Whispers Under Ground and now Broken Homes make up a wonderful series of books. They are very English. Sometimes I have to stop and look up words in the Urban Dictionary but it doesn't really detract. The narrator is fantastic - he is to Peter Grant as James Marsters is to Harry Dresden. If you like police dramas with an urban fantasy twist - you will likely enjoy these books.
If you have not picked up 'The Rivers of London' series by Ben Aaronovitch. This is the fourth of a wonderful urban fantasy/detective series set in London and its surrounding areas. Aside from me, this series is recommended by Daniel O'Malley, author of the 'The Rook' and has some similarities. I also have learned that Dresden files fans also like this series. If you have read the previous three books you know they are fantastic fun and should be required reading for those with even a passing interest in fantasy, detective novels, and London.
'Broken Homes' narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is delightful. This is a case where the narrator has such a grasp on the novel that I look specifically to listen to it.
This book is primarily about Constable Peter Grant,his superior Nightengale, and his friend and fellow constable Leslie. They make up a very small special branch of the police that investigate the 'things that go bump in the night,' and they are a nightmare to work with as far as the rest of the police are concerned. There are few hard facts, actual evidence, and clear up rates when investigating the 'extraordinary.'
While this team is still tracking down "Little Crocodiles" (unlicensed wizards of the day who do not keep The Queens Peace,) Peter comes across several cases with strange facets that put them squarely in their jurisdiction. There is a stolen Grimoire of German origin, a city planner whose suicide by train is not on the up and up, and a mutilated body we believe has ties to The Faceless Man.
Aaronovitch ties all these plots together involving the fabulous Rivers of London Gods and Goddesses, Zach(our favorite connection to the Fey of the city,) and Peter's family including the wayward 13 year old aspiring wizard Abigail.
'Broken Homes' ties in the architecture of the city, previously unknown wizards, and insight into Nightingales' past. As with his other books, I was so drawn into the story I didn't notice if the writing was particularly good or not, but I can say it certainly did not detract. The novel is full of humor and if you are looking for a book that is enjoyable, and will allow you to keep your good spirits, this is for you. There is also a huge twist at the end I would not want to spoil. One warning, you do have to read the other three first, but I doubt you will complain if you do so.
I'm a Sculptor of toothpicks.
I've read through the previous books in this series as fast as I could and really loved every one though this one was probably my favourite as many of my curious questions were answered about Peter Grant and Nightingale and Leslie and now I crave more answers so I hope the wait isn't too long!
Excellent ending too! Didn't expect any of it and had to re-listen just to curb my astonishment as it was hard to grasp that bit at the end!
I've been checking Audible almost daily since the book came out. I'm glad to say I didn't have to wait too long. Once again Ben A. takes us on a thrilling ride. Some reviewers have said this story is scattered, but I say go with it and enjoy the different tangents. Ultimately, you will be gobsmacked by the ending. I can't imagine this series without Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's remarkable performance. I believe this is Holdbrook-Smith's best performance ever. He's amazing and you can tell he really enjoys reading these stories.The only negative is that we have to wait for the next one to come out.
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