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 really love this series and think this is one you want to listen to rather than read. Definitely start at the beginning of the series for full enjoyment.
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is an astounding narrator who brings the main character to life and also does an amazing job with a very large range of characters of different ages, genders, classes, and ethnicities. He can go from a gay, Filipino guy from San Francisco to an African matron, to an upper crust, elderly British man in a heartbeat.
I have to agree with other reviewers that the story often has so many different story threads and characters that it can get confusing at times. My advice is to pay attention to names or you may find yourself half way through and wondering - "Wait, who the heck is that again?" I also agree with another reviewer that the story is so delightful anyway, just enjoy the ride.
As far as the surprise twist at the end: it's a believable outcome, but at the same time, am I the only one thinking "Wait a minute, does this really make sense in the story? Why would they have done x, y and z if that was the case? (Don't want to give you any spoilers!)
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
This is a delight of a series and this book is a great addition to that. It's some very funny bits about housing developements as well. The language in this is a treat.
I'm also very much enjoying the build up of the rivers of London as a series. It's a cool idea that just expands into better and better things.
This novel, like a river, rambles a bit which is why I docked one star. It's a bit harder to follow, but it's still a treat.
Just wanted to say that the narrators voice seemed more hoarse and scratchy for this title and I enjoyed it a bit less than the previous books.
I loved this book, and couldn't stop listening. This series, and the extremely good reader, has me. firmly. I can't wait for the next addition.
The rivers of London series combines magical whimsy with London scenery and police mysteries. The narrator is one of the most engaging and imaginative I have ever heard. You will love it.
This series just keeps getting better.
I don't know what it is, but somehow Aaronovitch is just able to keep each book fresh and different from all other books. Every book so far has been unique and full of charm, all the while building on its predecessors. Each book stands alone but is part of a larger narrative, but unlike most series, the overall narrative is on the back burner and the book is more about its individual story. In addition to the content improving, the books overall improve with flow and overall enjoyment factor.
Really, you should continue this series if you have already started it, and if you haven't, start it now. It kind of does what Doctor Who does to TV, except maybe better.
His accents are incredible, he absolutely fits how I would envision the character speaking. He is a treasure.
Don't give me high school questions to answer for a "review" . I love this series, I love the reader, that is what I have to say.
This is a wonderful series read by a terrific reader. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith just IS Peter Grant. But then his voicing of the other characters is equally compelling.
In this book, they are after The Faceless Man again and Peter and Lesley move into a 'council house' type apartment together to gather information. Zach is back and we see a bit more of the Quiet People.
I can't say because it was at the end.
His voice is so wide ranging. He seems to be able to do ANY accent or nationality as well as different dialects from various areas in UK.
Well yes, if they read fast enough; but no, it would be over too soon.
Love the humour, the world, the subtlety, the London culture, the characters. Read wonderfully by actor. You should start with Midnight Riot and follow the series. And you're in for a treat.
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