Review No.126 – Rivers of London

Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch

Gollancz, 2011

When the first body is found, probationary constable Peter Grant is sent to guard the crime scene and chances upon the only witness to the crime. Unfortunately, that witness is a ghost. Struggling to make sense of the encounter, and what it means for the investigation, Peter goes ghost-hunting and instead meets Thomas Nightingale – the last wizard in service to the Metropolitan Police Service, who happens to be on the lookout for an apprentice. London, Peter soon discovers, is home to a whole world of creatures of the uncanny, and one of them is an intangible, uncontrollable killer already poised to strike again.

It turns out that Ben Aaronovitch is, among other things, the screenwriter of the McCoy era Doctor Who story ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’, which just goes to show it’s worth reading the author bio. Rivers of London (known in the US as Midnight Riot) is the first in the Peter Grant series and was a mostly enjoyable fusion of crime novel and urban fantasy. There were a few moments that rang a slightly wrong note for me, and I was occasionally exasperated by Peter’s attitude, but the idea behind the book was solid and the background characters were all interesting. The series continues with Moon Over Soho.


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