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Rivers of London

Ben Aaronovitch

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (2 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Gollancz

Published : 2011

Copyright : Ben Aaronovitch 2011

ISBN-10 : None
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-575-09756-8

Publisher's Write-Up

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 voluable, 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.

About the Author:
Ben Aaronovitch was born and raised in London and all his work has reflected his abiding fascination and love for what he modestly likes to refer to as the 'Capital of the World'. He works as a bookseller when he is not writing novels and TV scripts.

'Witty, well plotted, vividly written and addictively readable.'

The Times

'An engaging mix of magic and police procedural, this is a great kick off to a very promising series as well as the most satisfying fantasy thriller to hit bookshelves in quite some time. Witty, imaginative and gripping.'

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (310511) Rating (9/10)
Review by Nigel (310511) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 9/10
Oh, happy accidents, don't you just love it when something good happens that you did not expect? I was one of the lucky ones who have just had this Easter / Royal Wedding gap off work. Unfortunately poor Nigel did not, so I found myself going to his work with him, planning to go shopping, and he gave me a Waterstones gift card from Christmas with instructions to go and see what I could see... well, wandering around the shop, I headed for the SF section, primarily because it was Nigel's card and it seemed unfair to go and buy something for me with his gift card, and I saw this, and how can you possibly not buy a book with a review that asks what if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz? Well, I could not resist, and Nigel's choice be damned, I got the first and second books, and do you know what? They are brilliant. Clever and funny, populated with interesting (human and non-human) characters and a bit of gore, and magic, who does not love a bit of magic? Well, suffice to say that they were finished in relatively quick order and my sniggering prompted Mr N to read them as well.

Our magical apprentice is Peter Grant, who, until he meets a ghost and admits meeting this ghost to a superior officer, is headed for a career of completing the paperwork of other police officers because he is too easily distracted from the task at hand to be assigned anywhere that he might prove a liability. Apparently this is not such a detriment to certain sections of the metropolitan police service as it would appear that there are criminals who are not human but who, under normal circumstances are not seen by police officers, criminals who have to be sought by specialist officers like DCI Thomas Nightingale, a dapper gentleman of indeterminate age who happens to be the one who, when told by Grant that he was waiting for a ghost, actually took him seriously! One frivolous remark that changes your life, and that is only the start of it, I would really highly recommend this book, part thriller, part romp, totally original. Happy accidents...
Chrissi (31st May 2011)

Review by Nigel
Rating 8/10
Peter Grant is finishing his probation to become a PC in the Metropolitan Police Service and awaits his superiors' assessment of his training which will dictate his future career in the force.

Since he is on probation he draws the short straw and is posted to guard a murder scene through the night when he spots an oddly dressed man who turns out to be a ghost who witnessed the murder. Although dubious at first Peter none-the-less takes the ghost's statement which, when he checks the following day, turns out to be more than plausible. Returning to the scene he tries to make contact again when he is approached and asked by a senior officer what he is doing. Deciding the truth is the easiest option, he says "I'm ghost-hunting" to which, rather surprisingly, he is told to carry on. And so begins PC Peter Grant's career as a trainee Wizard in the Metropolitan Police Force.

Rivers of London is an excellent Urban Fantasy with some nice moments of dark humour thrown in that had me smiling throughout. I wasn't as satisfied with the clarity of motive that the ending provided as Chrissi but that is more to do with me being pedantic than anything else. A very entertaining read and highly recommended. Harry Potter for adults.
Nigel (31st May 2011)

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