Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Review by Jacqui
I came across this book completely by accident, first novel yet again. I do have a bad habit that if I like the look of the book from the cover and the blurb etc then I buy it, (yes I know that can be dangerous especially with fantasy books, but touch wood it has worked 8 times out of 10 for me).
I think it took me a day and half to read it, only grudgingly taking breaks away from it when I had to, due to inconvenient working etc.
The story is about Peter Grant who at the start of the story is a probationary constable in the Met Police. He is not seen as a ‘proper thief taker’ by his senior officers as he spends too much time wondering about things rather than getting down to catching people. As a result it looks like he is going to be sent to a paper pushing section but after trying to take a witness statement following a murder from a spirit, his life and career take a dramatic turn. He meets an Inspector Nightingale who proves to be a wizard. Finds out that the Met has it own magic branch and Peter becomes its first apprentice in years. He discovers that there are evil spirits, gods, goddess’s, vampires and just about everything strange thing possible in London. Let’s not even mention the housekeeper who works for Nightingale! There is violence and death involved due to a malicious spirit wandering across London and well described police procedure, but it is all tied up in a really good story.
The story is written by someone who knows London and loves the city. It is brilliantly written, fast paced and is funny. I read some of this travelling to and from work, so attracted quite a few strange looks as it actually made me laugh out loud. The descriptions of the characters are excellent and you believe in Peter’s first stumbling moves in to magic.
This is another story which is described as an urban fantasy- but don’t let that put you off.
I won’t say that the book is perfect, it isn’t, but then what book is. There are reviews that say that there are loads of questions and some of the story doesn’t make sense. Yes there are a few questions you are left with and you may find a few holes in the plot but nothing that detracts from your enjoyment of the book. I can say this is one of the best books that I have read in ages, and so good that I bought the sequel which I read equally fast and am now anxiously waiting for the third!
9 out of 10