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The October Man

Rivers of London, Book 1
Narrated by: Sam Peter Jackson
Series: Rivers of London Series, Book 7.5
Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (286 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

If you thought magic was confined to one country - think again. 

Trier: famous for wine, Romans, and being Germany's oldest city. 

When a man is found dead with his body impossibly covered in a fungal rot, the local authorities know they are out of their depth. But fortunately this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything. 

Enter Tobias Winter, an investigator for the Abteilung KDA, the branch of the German Federal Criminal Police which handles the supernatural. His aim is to get in, deal with the problem, and get out with the minimum of fuss, personal danger, and paperwork. 

Together with frighteningly enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, he quickly links the first victim to a group of ordinary middle-aged men whose novel approach to their mid-life crisis may have reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century.  

As the rot spreads, literally, and the suspect list extends to people born before Frederick the Great, Tobias and Vanessa will need to find allies in some unexpected places. 

And to solve the case they'll have to unearth the secret magical history of a city that goes back two thousand years. Presuming that history doesn't kill them first.

©2019 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2019 Tantor

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Aliza
  • Rural New Hampshire
  • 06-05-19

I miss Peter Grant and Kobna Holdbrook Smith

Sam Peter Jackson is a fine narrator - no complaints there. But the characters in the Rivers of London series are way too enticing to shelve, and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's rendition of each is transcendent. I'll follow Tobias Winter dutifully, but he has big shoes to fill. Waiting for a return of my favorites.

18 of 18 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

Very enjoyable.

Murder, magic, mystery and genius loci in Trier. Another excellent adventure expanding the Rivers of London universe. Tobias Winter is dispatched to investigate the unusual circumstances of a corpse and while he's not as flamboyant as Peter Grant, he's no slouch either. It was nice to see how it's done in Germany. I also loved hearing Tobias' opinion on how 'The English' handle things and also references to The Nightingale, his apprentices and what's been occurring in London.

I've not heard Sam Peter Jackson narrate before, but he does an excellent job capturing the variety of characters in the story. I especially liked how he narrated Tobias, communicating his open minded flexibility hidden within his circumspect conservative delivery.

Overall it kept my attention throughout and I hope there'll be more.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Missing Something

On first listen the novella lacks the same character and depth that the author has when writing about PC peter Grant and London. it is obvious that he has a much better command of the London scene and city than he does Germans and Germany. The narrator misses the mark a bit for me. Even his own inner asides lacked any kind of emotion or sense of comedic irony. A stronger narrator may have helped the story feel more dire. There was never a time when I felt any of the characters in the book were in danger or even had to exert themselves.

will listen again to make sure I didn't miss anything

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Following the narrator was focalpoint not story

I've been addicted to this series for years and have every book and audio book; looking forward to each new release. Boy did this one fall flat. Typically, once a new book is released, it is consumed in one-setting, this took 4! The narrator annunciates in such a precise way that is strips the depth and grit of the character. He also sounded more Swedish than German which was strange at best, and also prevented any real investment into the story or the character. It’s a struggle to say this clearly, but when listening, the narrator so didn’t fit the series or the experience these characters (super-natural police with abilities) are expected to have that the fantasy was lost. There was no way to suspend belief and live inside the story because the narrator read at the level one would expect when listening to an English teacher.

Love this series, but not this narrator

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Debra
  • Ada, MI, United States
  • 06-10-19

Rivers outside of London

Loved this intro to magical law enforcement outside of the UK. A simple but engaging narrative, hopefully the set for for a new full series.

Narrator is not great with women's voices at all and I had some difficulty telling who was speaking at times was not enough to seriously impact the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Diana
  • Antelope Valley, CA, United States
  • 06-07-19

Excellent writing & narration - ROL world expanded

I love the expansion of the Rivers of London world into Germany - this is going to open up more possibilities. Ben Aaronovitch continues to offer A+ writing with attention to details - geographic, architectural, and cultural - along with an imaginative and twisty mystery plot.

After listening to the audiobook and reading this via Kindle, I went to other Fantasy/Paranormal books recently bought and the quality of writing from Ben Aaronovitch in comparison to the other recently bought books really shows. I came back to The October Man and listened to it again while enjoying the Kindle version. This was the first time I bought a Kindle version of ROL, but wanted to see how the German words were spelled. I can't quite express how Ben Aaronovitch manages to write much better than some other authors, but the quality is there.

I love the new narrator, and he is perfect for the inner voice of the new character. There is no replacing Kobna Holdbrook-Smith - he is the inner voice of Peter Grant and does an A+ job of voicing all the other characters in the British version.

I hope at some point the German and British characters meet and wonder if the two narrators will collaborate at that time.

Ben Aaronovitch does his readers justice by continually producing quality writing over quantity, and that is much appreciated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Anything by Ben is Good

A total Peter Grant fan, I live for the yearly release of his next adventure. This short story was engaging and introduces a new character.. prequel to a new series?? And if not, if will hold me until the next real Rivers Of London Novel!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ton
  • london england
  • 06-27-19

another strand in a great series

first one without peter grantbut hopefully not the last, short but very good, with obviosly aaronivich customary vood reserch. wel reaf with good german accent and diction

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

not as good as rivers of London

first you need to speak German to appreciate the setting, secondly it is a weak rehash of the Peter Grant series. dissapointing

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Yanni
  • ACWORTH, GA, United States
  • 10-09-19

Just Meh.

I absolutely LOVE the Rivers of London series but this spinoff was just Meh. It wasn’t worth the credit.
The story was too short.
The attempts at humor fell flat.
The action was almost non existent.
The narrator just made me miss Kobna Holdbrook Smith.