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Publisher's Summary

Where the Marble Arch stands today in London was once the Tyburn gallows - also known as The Hanging Tree. The walk toward those gallows along Oxford Street and past the Mayfair mansions has a bloody and haunted history as the last trip of the condemned. Some things never change. For both blood and ghosts have returned to those mansions of the super-rich. And it's up to Peter Grant - England's last wizard and the Metropolitan Police's reluctant investigator of all things supernatural - to get to the bottom of the sinister doings.

©2017 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,044
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    318
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Performance

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    111
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    8
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Continuing Splendor of Peter Grant

If you are a fan of the Peter Grant books you have likely been tapping your toes and pacing back and forth waiting for the powers that be to release the latest book in this terrific series. Wait no longer…it’s finally out, buy it and enjoy. If you aren’t already a follower you would be better to start with Midnight Riot and work forwards…rather than start here. This book does stand-alone…but if you have followed the threads developed in the earlier books you will get more out of this one. Hanging Tree is the usual mixture of “Magic as Science” plot brilliance and some pretty sharp social commentary. It's a very UK book. I’m a native Brit and even I find myself caught on some of the London vernacular and UK police procedural language…I’m still not 100% clear on what a “caution plus two” is.

Each of the earlier books in this series develops a separate plot line with some over lapping characters in common. In this book Aaronovitch has taken the greatest hits/characters of the first five novels and woven them into this new book. That can be a little confusing especially if you haven’t followed the earlier books. In addition to Peter and the usual suspects on the London police force Leslie is back (face restored) as is Mr. Punch, the Faceless Man, the FBI and of course as many of the various river gods as you have an appetite for. I won’t spoil the plot, there’s lots going on, some terrific action sequences and as much wry humor as usual. Perhaps there’s a little too much going on in some spots…but it’s all such terrific fun it’s a good problem to have. I would be remiss if I didn’t give props to the brilliant performance Holdbrook-Smith delivers. His voices and accents are the perfect complement to this terrific listen. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait quite as long for the next episode.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Peter Grant Back in London

I gave this five stars because I love this series set in a London where magic works and the mundane police are reluctantly coming to accept that it is coming back into prominence. Because I am writing this a fan, you have to accept that there are things I like about this book which may make a non-fan think it is four stars or below. Because this is the 6th book in the series it is loaded with references to previous books. Be warned. I would suggest listening the first books before tackling this one.

I listened to the book twice after it turned up in my library. The first time was for the story and the fabulous narration by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Peter is back in London and pursuing the Faceless Man, helped and hampered by new and old friends and enemies. A lot of characters from earlier books in the series make appearances, some brief, others more substantial. It may be ok as a stand alone novel, but I'm a bit dubious.

The second time I listened to it was to catch any pop references that I might have missed. Aaronovitch has written for the Doctor Who franchise, so those references are no surprise, but there are a whole lot more, including a nod to Phil Rickman.

Recommended for those who like this sort of fiction.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best of the Series

Any additional comments?

I don't know how, but I keep forgetting just how amazing an exceptionally good book is. Good thing The Hanging Tree is around to remind me.

You heard me right, this book is good, as in best in the series good. There was a lull where the series got too serious and emo. After that Aaronovitch took book 5 to kind of step away and get back on track. So, this book is that back on track that we all wanted.

Grant is back with his snarky mouth that would make Deadpool green with envy. Seriously, I think every character in the series has to remind him that his mouth keeps getting him in trouble. Grant is also back with pop and nerd culture references, the humor (I guess it should be humour for this Brit book), and applying science to magic to the eternal chagrin of Nightingale.

Also in this book is two or three good steps forward in the overall plot. And that's all you get, any more and I will surely spoil something.

So, if you are reading review, it probably means you've read some of the rest of the series. Pick up this book - right now - I strongly recommend it. Of special note, this series as a whole has become one that I just blanket recommend to everyone.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Full marks, again

Ben Aaronovitch has joined the ranks amongst my favorites, & did so stealthily, while I wasn’t looking.

Love his characters, AND story, and most especially, his wit. Plus, as a side bonus, he doesn’t waste pages in his books re-hashing what happened in one of his previous novels, a common trait these days in many series. One more reason to love Mr A.

And if ever a narrator brought a series to life with such distinction, it is Kobna Holbrook-Smith. Absolutely stellar performances throughout the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty good entry, but I need more plot movement

Anyone who has made it this far into the series knows the drill, so no need to rehash things too much. The story picks right up and gets moving fairly quickly.

On the one hand we learn some BIG things in this entry. On the other, they're either relegated to the final chapter or two of the book (leaving it open for exploration in a future entry) or just not really treated with the gravity that they should be (in my opinion of course).

Book 6 is better than book 5, as there is more action and a tad more story progression, however I'm still left wanting more. I'll be hanging on for 7 to see if things really get moving (and if Grant can "level up").

Kobna does an excellent job narrating as always. He's perfect for the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite series. Excellent writing & narration

This is my favorite series on Audible because the author has dimensional characters, interesting plot lines, and vivid sensory and action descriptions. The narrator has a large range of character voices that are easily recognizable and doesn't just "read" the lines in front of him but gives thoughtful and meaningful inflections.

I am baffled why I don't see Holdbrook-Smith doing more narration work, but hope Ben Aaronovitch will be doing books 7,8, 9, 10 and more so quickly that Holdbrook-Smith will be too busy to make other authors' work shine too.

The production must have been outstanding on this audio book because I wasn't distracted at all by any flaws.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Getting better and better!

I'm re-listening to the series before each comes out. And while the last one was great, this is the best yet.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Missing the jazz music chapter intros?

What did you love best about The Hanging Tree?

The sixth book in the series brings us a better understanding of Lady Tyburn, and sends us on a collision course with the Faceless Man and Lesley.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Peter remains a delight. And Guleed is growing on me. She's become quite brave.

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

Kobna's gift for narration- his vocal inflections are so varied- is marvelous

Any additional comments?

What happened to the jazz? I got used to the musical intros to each chapter and they were sorely missed. After architecture, jazz is one of the iconic characteristics of Peter Grant!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Don't go in with high hopes...

Where does The Hanging Tree rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

With reference to ALL in the Rivers of London series: at the bottom actually, but it should be read! I am hoping it segues into the next book with info that will allow us to look back and think "Oh, OK that makes sense now..."

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The introduction of the Witch and her daughter- this promises to be interesting.
Least interesting- the constant "filler" of references to the past stories and characters.

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

He always makes this series so great- but in this last book his voice was a little deeper.

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

No/Yes: I wanted to, but this story did not hold my attention like the others .

Any additional comments?

After finishing this book,I was left with one thought: Really? This is what took you so long? It felt like the author had several ideas that hadn't been fleshed out as yet and at the last minute, had to come up with some plot device that could hobble those ideas together so it could go off to the publishers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

another first rate audible

What did you love best about The Hanging Tree?

This entire series has kept me riveted. I have 19 yrs of LEO experience and Aaronovitch's portrayal of the life of a lowly constable is so bang on. Whoever does his consultation, is first rate. Hanging Tree was a fabulous addition to the series and I am anxiously awaiting the next book.

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

I can't imagine anyone but Holdbrook-Smith narrating this series. I am a voracious reader, but I actually chose to listen to this series because of his narrating. His character voices are perfect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful