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Publisher's Summary

Ben Aaronovitch has stormed the bestseller list with his superb London crime series. A unique blend of police procedural, loving detail about the greatest character of all, London, and a dash of the supernatural.

A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil; an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common or garden serial killer? Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his case-load. So far so London. But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on an housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans and inhabited by the truly desperate. Is there a connection? And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River?

Full of warmth, sly humour and a rich cornucopia of things you never knew about London, Aaronovitch's series has swiftly added Grant's magical London to Rebus' Edinburgh and Morse's Oxford as a destination of choice for those who love their crime with something a little extra.

Read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Kobna is a Film, Theatre, Television and Radio actor. His television credits include Little Britain, Saxondale, Pulling, Taking the Flak, Star Stories and Sirens; his theatre credits include lead roles at the National, Tricycle, Young Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange, Bush and Shakespeare's Globe theatres and he has also been in numerous BBC radio plays. He has voiced audiobooks by Alastair Reynolds and Ben Aaronovitch for Orion.

©2013 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2013 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • lynn
  • ADELAIDE, Australia
  • 08-01-13

Next book in a wonderful series great narration

Always a pleasure to come across another in the "Folly" series by Ben Aaronovitch. This one combines all the hallmarks of the others starting with Kobna Holdbrook-Smiths superb vocal range bringing each of the many characters to life magic, a superbly street wise Peter Grant and an author that knows London inside out. The character of the Nightingale is an invention of pure brilliance and the description of the battle between him and the Russian practitioner is excellent. The twist right at the end catches one unawares. If there was a criticism it might be that the cast is getting very large and occasionally confusing, not everyone in the previous books needs to make an appearance in the current volume. I downloaded the book and in 2 days had finished listening as I found it so entertaining. Hope to see more of the Nightingale's back - story in the next work.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ton
  • london england
  • 08-01-13

there is a sting at the end

What made the experience of listening to Broken Homes the most enjoyable?

the 4th book in the peter grant series ventures south of the river, with our heroes having to face (or faceless) not 1 but 2 enemies. <br/><br/>The story has some nasty suprises waiting and aaronovich manages to keep a lot hidden by leaving some very obvious things out in the open, only at the end you see how the obvious and the hidden combine<br/><br/>clever<br/><br/>as always the style and accents of holdbrook smith adds greatly to the story and even takes in the difference in lesley's voice as she had another operation<br/><br/>The bits of info on london reveal (once again) how much knowlegde and research aaronovich has.<br/><br/>Fun to read even if you will end up cursing at the end<br/><br/>so mr aaronovich go away and write another one

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

yes, there is a very obvious bit of the plot that makes you think "peter you blind one, connect the dots" only to find out that there is a lot more

Have you listened to any of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

the rest of the series, he has a good voice, giving life to a copper of african desent, a classic english gentleman, a seaside girl and many more<br/><br/>brilliant

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

this time its personal

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another great one!

Enjoyed every second of the book. Every time I thought it couldn't get more interesting and engaging it just did exactly that.

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Great fun

worth listening and relistening to. The narrator brings the story to life in an extraordinary manner.

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Kobna ruins me for all other narrators

Any additional comments?

Love this series, even if this novel felt more like a breather episode than super-relevant to the overall plot. Kobna nails the voices as per usual.

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  • Aileen
  • Armidale, Australia
  • 11-07-13

Great Urban Fantasy

This is a great series - interesting, clever, suspenseful, funny and imaginative. I love the central characters, I love the magic system, the sense of place (London) and writing. the main character is really enjoyable, and the narrator is marvelous at capturing the different voices of a large cast of diverse characters. It is such a pleasure to have a male narrator who can do female voices without making me cringe. Thanks Audible for marrying up a great book with just the right narrator.

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  • sharon
  • 07-28-13

Magic and Mayhem...

Super!
Ben Aaronovitch just gets better and better, I have missed Peter Grant with his sarcastic often witty descriptions, analogies, quips etc that never fail to have me laughing to myself, I love the characters, 'The Nightingale', Lesley, Molly and of course how cleverly the magical world is integrated into the very essence of London and it's tributaries.
I found this offering a real delight, pure escapism and was glad to see Grant's nemesis 'The Faceless Man' up to no good and always it appears to be a step ahead.
It's not all light and fun though and is pretty dark, disturbing even as the story unfolds. Our author also throws a hell of a curve ball that had me flummoxed, but in a good way, wanting the next book out already.
Still up there as one of my favourite series to follow..
Not a stand alone best to start with 'Midnight Riot', which is the first in the series, this is book number four.

28 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Beccameriel
  • 08-01-13

So, what happens next?

The main thing about this book is that it definitely feels like a bridge between Whispers Undergound and Book 5. There's really no point reading this unless you have read all the others - and I urge you to do that straight away because they are great!

As a story it mainly feels like its getting you from one place to another along the story arc but with enough interesting stuff along the way to keep you interested. There is a HUGE plot development which shocked me but that makes total sense in retrospect. As usual there is lots of information about London geography and history thrown in which, for me, is one of the joys of the books.

One of my favourite things was finally seeing (hearing) Nightingale show what he can do in a full-on magical battle.

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is excellent as ever, really inhabiting the character of Peter. Sometimes I think Ben Aaronovitch gives characters a particular accent just to see how Kobna handles them!

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Lesley
  • 08-01-13

Brilliantly narrated unputdownable story

These stories are fun and entertaining, but Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's narration makes it for me. He brings the story to life in such a way that even the magic seems believable, and I for one simply cannot stop listening.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Steven
  • 08-03-13

The gold standard for audiobook readers.

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is the sort of reader we should expect for all talking books. He has approached the characters with care and attention. His range of voices and emotions help bring the world to life with out getting in the way of the story. This should be the standard to which we should hold the rest of the talking book world.

The story is good, interesting and very well executed although some might complain about the ending.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Cathy
  • 07-31-13

It just gets better.

Where does Broken Homes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I loved this audiobook. Ben Aaronovtich has created a fascinating storyline which in my opinion just keeps on getting better as the seris continues. There is a huge surprise at the end, but I won't spoil it for you. However the characters from previous books reappear and all have a useful part to play in the development of the plot. The seris combines my two favourite themes: magic and crime novels. The whole thing is fey but with enough danger within it to avoid being arch: It just could not be better. I can't wait for the next one!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I really enjoyed the concept of the Sky Garden estate, I 've been meaning to look it up to check whether it is real (well it should be; the Tricorn estate in Portsmouth won medals!!). The idea of balconies big enough to support grass lawns and trees is inspired. I'd live there, especially if there were tree nymphs in the shared garden.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The story kept me listening with great interest during a long drive to Cumbria. There are some great funny moments, and some times when I felt aghast. I will be listening again over the next week to relive it all.

Any additional comments?

I took a while to get used to Kobe's voice since when I read the first novel his was not the voice I imagined. Now however he is Peter Grant for me and I love his characterisation of the different voices within the novel. He is particularly good at cheeky, not quite legal, chappies.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 08-12-13

When is there going to be a film?!

What did you like most about Broken Homes?

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's narration is excellent

What did you like best about this story?

Though I mean this in the most positive way, this audiobook is lightweight and fun.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Not so much 'scene' as I don't want to give much away, but I LOVE that it's set in London, and that it's easy for me to identify with so many of the descriptions.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It's nor really an emotional book, as always there are some ok jokes, however I did find this one dragged a bit in the middle.

Any additional comments?

Start at the beginning with the set and work your way through, these are great fun, though I'd love to find out more of the WW antics of Nightingale.....

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee
  • 08-08-13

Can we have the next book please

What did you like most about Broken Homes?

I am really enjoying the series and the excellent characters within it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Broken Homes?

Unable to say without potentially spoiling it for someone else, but there are great scenes toward the latter part of the book.

Have you listened to any of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s other performances? How does this one compare?

His narration is excellent, and I am sure from what I read from and interview with Ben Aaranovitch he is deliberately trying to make it harder for Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. I'm glad I listed to this rather than an attempt to read the German text and I think some Russian as well.Brilliantly done.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed the book and have been waiting for eagerly for the release, however at the end I kind of felt like I had only listed to the first half of the full book. So I guess the next will start right where we left off and I would like it now please :)

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 09-07-13

the end was good

What did you like best about Broken Homes? What did you like least?

The ending was unexpected, the rest of it was a rehash of old stories, which if you had not listened to the other 3 would never have understood.

Would you ever listen to anything by Ben Aaronovitch again?

of course if it was as good as book 1 and 2

What does Kobna Holdbrook-Smith bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

he has the most amazing voice and the best intonation

Was Broken Homes worth the listening time?

no

Any additional comments?

this series needs a reboot as the old story has run out of suprises

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard Stringer
  • 08-03-13

Excellent

The story continues ....

The narration is as excellent as ever as is the story.

Bring on the next one!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • ALP
  • 01-27-17

Different but one of the best so far!

Another fun and exciting addition to the Peter Grant series. With some great set pieces and huge revelations you won't be disappointed with this entry!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • kelly
  • 04-02-15

Great, again!!

Another great and enjoyable read from Mr Aaronovitch. I love Kobna. His narration is excellent. Definitely buying the next book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amy
  • 08-08-17

Love this series!

Love the depth of character that the narrator gives too these already interesting characters! This secret world which exists alongside ours is populated by strangely believable versions of already familiar characters and the storyline is captivating, as well as humorous.

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  • Heidi Thomson
  • 08-06-17

great story

I loved it, but if I let it get too long between listens I often struggled to keep track of who everyone was, especially minor characters.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-13-17

A twist...

Less time at the folly, more Leslie, some old favourites and a well timed twist leave you wanting answers (and just wanting to hear Kobna's flawless performance). Bring on the next book...

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  • Judith Mcintyre
  • 06-12-17

Thoroughly enjoyed

Peter Grant really comes alive as read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. The quirky characters and London histories threaded through this mystery makes it an entertaining story. Really enjoying this series. If you like a bit of paranormal and love police mysteries then this is the series for you. If this doesn't end up a TV series I'll be surprised.

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  • Phoebe D
  • 10-07-16

My new addiction

Enjoyed this so much now to start the next one and really want next one

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  • Saxen49
  • 08-03-16

Maybe the best since no 1

Wow! Without giving too much away, I didn't expect that. Now I need the next one! Excellent narration as always.

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  • Readalot
  • 07-10-16

Loved it...

Despite listening to this during a trying time (we've been flooded out) this cheered me. Now I have book 5 to start.


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  • Melitta
  • 02-09-15

Entertaining

loved it..never know exactly what's going to happen..the humour is great. I have read them all...

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  • Mrs Wright
  • 04-28-14

Harry Potter for Grown Ups!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Broken Homes to be better than the print version?

I have only listened to the audio edition but I am sure the book would not be as good as Kobna Holbrook-Smith really brings Peter Grant to life! Not to mention the other characters.

What other book might you compare Broken Homes to, and why?

I can't really compare it to anything as this is the only book (aside from Ben Aaronovitch's other books) I have read in this genre.

Have you listened to any of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have listened to all Ben Aaronovitch's books which are all read by Kobna Holbrook-Smith and he has done a brilliant job in everyone. He brings the characters too life without them being "cheesy" or too contrived.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did.....!!

Any additional comments?

You will not be disappointed. This book is funny, intriguing, interesting and slightly shocking. I could not encourage people enough to read this book.