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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Debbie
  • 06-20-13

Loving the way London was portrayed

I loved this quirky novel. I lived in London for years and I loved the way the supernaturals WERE London. The mystery was interesting and kept me gripped but by far the characters were the most special thing about the novel. Considering this is a sci-fi novel and they felt like they had realism and depth. It had a feeling that it was similar to Dr. Who but instead of time travel and aliens there is humans with special powers. I look forward reading more in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • CA Weir
  • 08-17-11

Brilliant Londoners book

I initially thought twice about downloading this, after all I don't really like fantasy type books. But some strong reviews on here made me think to give it a try. Plus my best mate works for the Met Police and having heard many of his stories I was keen to see how this fictionalised account compares.

Really enjoyed it and devoured it in a very short time...really glad the next book is now out which will be my next listen. The narrator is superb, to me he sounds like a young Idris Elba which is no bad thing. Yes its got spirits and vampires and trolls in it, but its not really a fantasy book to me, or at least what I would stereotype as being the fodder of your typical world of warcraft wielding weirdo...

This is a gritty, urban, London crime story, with large dollops of humour chucked in. Loved that, being focussed around the Thames, I could relate to the places and streets and have even drunk in the pubs mentioned.

Download it now, sit comfortably and write off the next ten hours...

20 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Audible
  • 04-12-11

Fantastic

This was reccommended to me by a friend who knows my passion for magic/thrillers and sci-fi fiction.
It is fantastic.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Justine
  • 04-17-14

What a great reader Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is.

If you could sum up Rivers of London in three words, what would they be?

Riveting, well-read, exciting.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Rivers of London?

The whole book.

What about Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s performance did you like?

He read this so well and managed to sound like several characters within a short space of time - I think this is the best performance by a reader that I have heard - he totally makes this great book a 12/10.

Any additional comments?

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book - and am looking forward to the next in the series - but just hope that Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is the reader!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Martin
  • 09-09-11

If you know London well - you will love it.

I wont say too much as I am clearly in the minority on this one!

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it, but maybe it was just a bit out-there for me. I found the setting in London and Covent Garden great, but I wonder how non-Londers might find this? (I suspect I would have struggled even more if I did not know the area). Its certainly imaginative, and amusing at times. But overall I can only give it 3 starts as I was not totally absorbed in, or 'believed' the story (some things has no 'reason' behind them at all...and I know this is perhaps silly thing to say given the book is about magic, when anything can happy, but still - this found me rolling my eyes a few times)...but based on the other reviews clearly that is just me!

The narration is odd! Very breathy and 'interesting' phasing used throughout, however credit is due as after you get used to the style the narrator does have an excellent flair for the accents and conveying the character attitudes.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mrs A.
  • 05-18-11

Unusual!!

I loved this book for its unusual theme and pace! Kobna Holdbrook-Smith was the perfect choice for narrator! I will never walk the streets of London again without just wondering if it all might be true!!!

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Barker
  • 07-03-16

Just Get It

Don't think twice. Get this book and thank me later! By far the best use of a credit you could possibly make!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • wellbeingosteo
  • 07-26-15

A GREAT START TO UNCONVENTIONAL SERIES.

Any additional comments?

This is a series I had heard of but put into my to look up pile and unfortunately never got round to looking up. Then Titan Comics released the first issue of Rivers of London and my attention was most assuredly grabbed in a big way. The mixture of fantasy tropes with a gritty London police procedural had me hooked and I had to find more about this series. Thankfully the books are pretty easy to find and I decided for better or worse to grab the Audiobook. Now I say "for better or worse" due to one sentence that is said quite early in the book.

The excellent narrator Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is spot on with his PC Grant as he allows the London boy to flow through him. Unfortunately he does show up one of the flaws with audio narration. As he utters a sentence from one of the characters, he does so in a unmistakable voice that should point any man woman or child that has been to Covent Garden in the summer as to the final twist of the book. When you read the words they are usually done in the tone of the rest of the page, meaning you may well skip over its relevance but when spoken out loud this is not quite as true. In truth though this is a minor inconvenience to an otherwise great performance from Holdbrook-Smith and I'm very pleased to see he carries on the duties for at least the next book.

The story itself revolves around the aforementioned PC Peter Grant a newly sworn in (after a chapter or two) Police Constable who has the unenviable task of investigating things that go bump in the night. The trick is not everyone knows that London is actually a melting pot of the supernatural and he along with his rather antiquated boss have to run the rule over all manner of perps on the streets of London town. This gives the book something different that keeps you on toes as we along with Grant get to learn the status quo as the story unfolds.

Ben Aaronovitch (the books Author) is a native Londoner and this feeds into nearly every page of the work, from descriptions of interactions with fellow tube passengers, to describing the cities streets, everything has a genuine air of authenticity that gives the book some serious weight. There is a spot of Ian Fleming in his writing that is especially prominent in his comments about cars and other consumer goods. This is balanced with the action scenes that take place, they are fast paced and pretty brutal and told with a economy that makes them feel realistic.

At just under the ten hour mark the audio narration is great value, there are only 14 chapters with very little time to catch your breath. We do though get a lovely musical interlude at the start of each chapter that is very in keeping with Peter's family history. I will say this is a must read/listen so please try to avoid my mistake and grab it now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • 01-10-15

I can absolutely see why everyone else likes this!

But it's just not for me.
Well written, well read (it's spot on once you get used to the speed) - I can see why other reviewers think this series is wonderful. It's very inventive, humorous - and it's very much set in a London I live in and love. But I just couldn't plug in to the story, I found myself having to go back and relisten and in the end I found this irritating and gave up. I have given this only 1 star overall in the hope that this review will come up as one of the negative reviews and give a good balance. Whilst this wasn't for me - it could well be for you, and I am glad I took a chance to decide.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Creative Butterfly
  • 12-21-14

Love a London book

As a Londoner I love a book that takes place in London and with the added bonus of the supernatural how could you not love it. I don't know how Ben does it but he really gets inside a Londoner head. I love the way he describes the surrounding and you can literally picture where Peter is in London. I adore Peter as he happens not to be perfect and makes the mistakes that everyone would although you hope as a policeman he would sometime be a bit more observant. A good listen though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-08-17

Listened raptly until the very end

Thoroughly enjoyed Rivers of London. Loved the supernatural bits and the humour thrown in. Definitely recommend.

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  • Mark Hampstead
  • 03-22-17

Brilliant reading by Kobna Holdbrook Smith.

I really enjoyed the concept in this story. there a few characters that I struggle to enjoy and get to know however Peter was wonderfully and endearing. Aaronavitch's descriptions are lucid and engaging appealing to all the senses.

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  • Annette gray
  • 01-16-17

Brilliantly read

The storyline is engaging and continues at a cracking pace. Suspend belief and sit back for the ride....
Probably the best read story I have listened to...accents are nailed perfectly.

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  • Tania
  • 01-08-17

Brilliant and Original

Loved the first book - fresh perspective on the supernatural. Expertly read. Very much a pleasure all round!

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  • Paddy mcGrath
  • 12-22-16

the narrator makes this book

story is well written but not all absorbing .however the narrator is so exceptional .his flawless accents a masterful .

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  • Claire
  • 12-14-16

first book whets appetite

it was a great preformance, enjoyed the story. it's a book for modern fantasy and detective story lovers.
This is book one in the series ( which the disruption doesn't note) and I'd be keen. to hear more

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  • Jennifer
  • 12-01-16

Brilliant!

This was a very entertaining audiobook. The story itself was engaging and the narrator was clear and had a very easy voice to listen to. I will be reading the rest of the series. A well written and well delivered fantasy, crime fiction. Loved it!!!

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  • MISS
  • 09-28-16

Rivers of London

This book was recommended to me, it was an enjoyable read. The narration was very good fantastic realisation of the characters.

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  • Phoebe D
  • 09-16-16

Can't wait to read the rest of the series

Loved it and am really looking forward to reading the other books in the series

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-24-16

new genre of crime/ fantasy/ paranormal

a brilliant, funny, enjoyable surprise can't wait to read the next one in the series.