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Editorial Reviews

Whispers Under Ground, Book 3 in the best-selling PC Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch and narrated by English actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is a laugh-out-loud, modern mystery crime detective audiobook, complete and unabridged. London is not as it seems – from evil Gods and Goddesses of the Thames, dark magic lurking in the tube system and monsters hiding in the shadows, it is up to wizard and PC Peter Grant to maintain order. PC Grant must use his cunning detective skills to track down a killer in Soho. But it’s a dangerous task when there’s no one to call for backup. Available now from Audible.

Publisher's Summary

Doctor Who Screenwriter Ben Aaronovitch's superbly entertaining supernatural crime series has, with its witty one-liners and wonderfully erudite take on London, won a legion of fans in double quick time.

Peter Grant is learning magic fast. And it's just as well - he's already had run-ins with the deadly supernatural children of the Thames and a terrifying killer in Soho. Progression in the Police Force is less easy. Especially when you work in a department of two. A department that doesn't even officially exist. A department that if you did describe it to most people would get you laughed at. And then there's his love life. The last person he fell for ended up seriously dead. It wasn't his fault, but still.

Now something horrible is happening in the labyrinth of tunnels that make up the tube system that honeycombs the ancient foundations of London. And delays on the Northern line is the very least of it. Time to call in the Met's Economic and Specialist Crime Unit 9, aka 'The Folly'. Time to call in PC Peter Grant, Britain's Last Wizard.

Read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.

©2012 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Avoca Beach, Australia
  • 08-19-12

Ripping good fun

Would you listen to Whispers Under Ground again? Why?

Yes, again and again and again. The book is so much fun and the narration by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is exceptional.

What other book might you compare Whispers Under Ground to and why?

If you're a fan of the Iron Druid books you certainly wont go wrong here. A step above Dresden.

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

Absolutely, I had to force myself to stop so I could get some sleep or stop driving around. Highly addictive listening.

Any additional comments?

Urban fantasy and mystery rolled in to one brilliant package and presented with the utmost finesse.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sandrine
  • Differdange, Luxembourg
  • 04-10-13

It felt heavy and too elaborated

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I missed the spunk and funk from the first two books.

What was most disappointing about Ben Aaronovitch’s story?

In parts it was too elaborated. The description of the rummaging through the sewers was too long and did not really develop in anything to help the unfolding of the story.
The introducing chapter was interesting and one thought it would be put to use in some way over the span of the story but it came back at the very end with a little twist but had nothing to do with the main storyline.

What three words best describe Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s voice?

Mr Holdbrook-Smith's performance was again very good and enjoyable. At times Leslie's nasal lisp was a bit hard to understand though.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Whispers Under Ground?

The long trail through the sewers.

Any additional comments?

Now I wonder if in the next sequel the British Museum of Natural History will come to life at night?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • F.J.
  • Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, Netherlands
  • 07-30-12

A Compelling listen

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, interesting plot and well narrated

What other book might you compare Whispers Under Ground to and why?

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

His british accent places the book squarely in London

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Any additional comments?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

A good laugh, plus adventure

My favourite of this series so far. Good story and funny. I love being reminded of all the places I knew around London. The narrator did a fantastic job with all the characters voices in this book.

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

Great

Now we are really getting started, it just gets better and better.
Can't stop listening and are jumping into the next right away.

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

great listen

Have read the first two books, so enjoyed the story. And the readers voice and overall performance was great! A great story about magic and police work.

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

Already purchased book 4, 5 & 6

Can not get enough of this series. Highly recommend to anyone. The narration is excellent and I have been caught laughing out loud on the train numerous times

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

Aaronovitch, you've done it again!

a very fun read that's fantastically narrated. though not as deep a mystery as expected.

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

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith - BRILLIANT!!

What did you love best about Whispers Under Ground?

The story was made that much better by Kobna's narrative

Who was your favorite character and why?

The characters came to life in each book because of the excellent stories and the fantastic narrator

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

I'm sad because I have to wait until June for the next audiobook in this series

Any additional comments?

Kobna's Holdbrook-Smith!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • 07-04-12

Wonderful story, wonderful narration

This is another great volume in the Peter Grant series. Aaronovitch has established a set of likeable three-dimensional characters who inhabit a rich urban fantasy world. The central narrative thread of this volume (investigating a crime in the underground) moves along nicely, and the broader narrative arcs of the series are developed. Aaronovitch also does well in tackling some tricky real-world issues such as race and disability without ever seeming to preach. It's good to see Lesley back doing policework.
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's narration is flat-out terrific. There is a broader set of accents for him to contend with here, but each voice emerges as individual and convincing. The central performance of Peter Grant holds the whole thing together - colloquial, self-deprecating, bright and perceptive in many ways, a bit obtuse in others.
Oh, and did I mention how funny the whole thing is in places? In fact, the only problem with this audiobook is the funny looks you get as you walk along apparently chortling to yourself.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • I F Jentle
  • 08-14-12

A match made in heaven between author and narrator

I admit to being a little concerned before I bought this audiobook; the third in a series of books all to often shows the author flagging in invention and repeating previous plot devices. Not a bit of it! This book is as enjoyable as the first two. This is partly because of Kobna Holdbrook - Smith's superb narration; there is something about his depiction of the hero, (the book is written in the First Person) that perfectly compliment's the authors world view. Sometimes a narrator can ruin a perfrctly good book, but in this case, It is a match made in heaven!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 07-17-12

When's the next one..?

These books are addictive as is the Narrator. I was very sceptical when I downloaded the first book in the series and initially was not sure about Kobna Holdbrook-Smith but the characters quickly grew on me and the knowledge of London is fascinating. Nothing gets done when I have these books plugged in and I've have been known to drive the long way home to find out how Peter, Lesley and Nightingale fare.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • P
  • 11-17-12

Excellent

I really cant recommend this highly enough, it's a really fine audiobook. The 3rd in Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series & this is the best yet although If you haven't read/listened to the others I wouldn't start here as it'll spoil the previous plots somewhat.

Some people have said Harry Potter meets the Bill & suppose that gives you some idea but I think there's more humour, intelligence & fun than that description would indicate.

The reader is absolutely superb & makes the experience totally believable.

If like me you've lived a long time in London you'll get even more out of it as the descriptions of familiar places make it resonate even more.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ms
  • 11-23-12

More adventures for PC Wizard.

The third instalment in the Peter Grant/Folly/Rivers of London series delivers as you would hope. As before, the plot bounces along at a cracking rate, the dialogue and language is witty and well-observed and the police procedural aspects are enlightening. And as always, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's reading is utterly superb, bringing all the characters to vivid life.



This time Lesley May is back, working with Peter Grant to solve a murder and a mystery and learning more about the supernatural London hiding beneath the surface we all know and recognise. The book works well alone as a mystery with a solution, but also advances the greater Folly story and the personal tales of the characters we know and love.



I love these books. I think they're up there with Terry Pratchett in terms of novelty and quality of writing. The characters are rich and rounded and the plot is up to snuff. If you're looking for a first book from Ben Aaronovitch, I'd still suggest starting with Rivers of London because it explains from the beginning. However, this one holds up on its own.

I'm fussy and I highly recommend this.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carolyn
  • 11-14-12

Wonderful!

Another fantastic title from the great combination of Ben Aaronovitch's writing and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's narration. The characters are now familiar and becoming more so with every book - it is like a following a good TV series!! I love the whole premise of the stories and can't wait for the next installment.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • 08-18-12

Another Great Listen

A third wonderful book in the series with more fantastic narration from Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Without a doubt this series by Ben Aaronovitch are my favorite audio books by some way

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kris
  • 08-17-12

Great

This series gets better and better. Love the premise, love the wry humour, love the delivery. Love the way it brings London alive, not in the touristy sense, but the real, I live here and I know about its' nooks and crannies sense. I do hope it can keep going.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paul
  • 11-24-12

Hugely enjoyable

I have just finished the third of Aaronovich's Rivers of London series and I have found them an absolute pleasure. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith reads them superbly, somehow coping with the vast array of accents thrown at him. I understand there is another on the way - I can't wait!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lindsay Kay Caddy
  • 08-18-12

Brilliant as always

I love Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series, well written, interesting, imaginative and vivid characters. The narration is always excellent and a large part of why I enjoyed the book so much.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 08-08-18

Eerie and Exciting

atmosphere was electric. Good Character interplay .Mystery pervades the plotline and the descriptions of alleys and sewers was detailed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • gjbmcn2
  • 08-02-18

Highly Effective Marriage

This is The third of the series books and I’m still interested and having had the vocal as well as the paper version of these books I consider them a good marriage of both. Also the mix of modern and mystical fits well with what’s currently going on elsewhere with series like Harry Potter the magicians and all that other weirder stuff on Netflix. Still engaged with the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bernadette Aitken
  • 07-09-18

Great read.

Thanks for another great story. I am glued to this series and I’m enjoying each story. This one has quite a complicated series of connections that appear to be separate issues to begin with. You need to be on your toes to keep up. Familiar characters turn up and new ones are discovered.
The audio book is marvellous. I can visualise the characters and their expressions from the narration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nakisah
  • 05-10-18

Love this Series!

Really loving this series. I find the narrator fits the character of Peter Grant perfectly. Cant wait to keep listening to more of his stories

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Janette Gorman
  • 04-18-18

Brilliant

Another great adventure for Peter and co. These just keep getting better and better. Brilliant narration and I look forward to the next one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LyndalP
  • 04-18-18

Loved this book

I ❤️ the Peter Grant series. The characters are continuing to develop with each book. Lots of twists and turns and love how cometley plausible it all sounds!
Kobna's voice is amazing - it's like listening to an old friend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geraldine
  • 10-24-17

If you like it different, here it is! <br />

Loved it. I could listen to the narrator forever. Great twists and turns in the storyline.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-15-17

Highly Recommended

Cannot get enough of these books. The stories are extremely entertaining and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's narrative is superlative.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kai1
  • 09-14-17

Not quite as compelling as the other stories...

What made the experience of listening to Whispers Under Ground the most enjoyable?

The narrator!!!!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Peter

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

Yes, I'll follow all of them!!

Any additional comments?

This book wasn't quite as good as the others in the series, I found it more of a challenge to listen to than the one's prior. But still worth a listen

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jamie
  • 07-13-17

Addictive

Im loving these books. Great story and read excellently. Easy listening and hard to stop.