9 December 2014

Rivers of London, a supernatural London series by Ben Aaronovitch

One of the delights of reading is the ability to re-visit old favourites. Books that envelope you like an old friend; vaguely familiar but with the excitement of forgotten memories. I've found myself lately turning to a few old comforts, such as the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. A beguiling mix of the supernatural, crime-fighting and unusual personifications of London, the series is now onto the fifth installment - safe in my hot little hands.

Peter Grant is your average Central London PC; street-wise, loves his curries, beer and football but not so great at concentrating on the finer detail. It just so happens that one day he takes a statement "from a man who was already dead but still disturbingly voluble." Little does he realise the chain of fate that will lead him to join a very special until of the Met Police, specialising in the unexplainable and are called to cases that can't solved with ordinary policing.
 Rivers of London, a supernatural London series by Ben Aaronovitch

I really enjoyed the clever mix of life in London with a supernatural twist. The characters are flawed and funny - narrated by Peter Grant, it feels that as a character he begins to find himself, instead of being banished the drudgery of the paperwork based 'Case Progression Unit' and finds a niche in which to use his unique perspective on the world. As a result of this 'awareness' he is approached by a fairly secretive branch of the Met Police, and he begins to train as a magician because as the character says "I want in Sir, I've got to know." I think I would do the same.

Rivers of London (Rivers of London 1) Ben Aaronovitch

As he begins the process of discovering there is much more to London than thought, we begin to know the secondary characters of Lesley (a fellow copper) and Nightingale (arcane teacher). London itself is almost a character in the novel, and as a card-carrying antipodean, this was one of my favourite aspects of the book - not to mention the personifications of the London Rivers. It took me a couple of chapters to get into it, much like Terry Pratchett when I was younger, but once I was hooked, that was it.

 Rivers of London, a supernatural London series by Ben Aaronovitch

Moon Over Soho (Rivers of London 2) Ben Aaronovitch 
 
 Another installment of The Rivers of London series, we follow London Bobby Constable Grant as he gets futher into his education, and tackles cases - or rather ends up stumbling upon them. He is called to the city morgue, where a body contains an imprint of a jazz song - something isn't right.


Rivers of London, a supernatural London series by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground (Rivers of London 3): Ben Aaronovitch

You know when you're standing on the Bakerloo Line, it's late at night and you hear that weird noise that you can't work out what it is? Well, it's not the right time or situation to be reading this book whilst you are there, not once you begin the book. (Oh, yeah and personal safety as well kids.)


Rivers of London, a supernatural London series by Ben Aaronovitch

Broken Homes (Rivers of London 4): Ben Aaronovitch

The fourth installation of Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London Series, Broken Homes is set South of the Thames, was a much awaited book in my household and had a clanger of a cliffhanger that has left me wanting more.

Rivers of London, a supernatural London series by Ben Aaronovitch

Definately a great commuting and travel read, and nice for something out of the ordinary (even compared to usual Fantasy books). The researching seems to be spot on, but doesn't overwelm and dry out the plotlines; and the many insights to the world of London Bobbies are very quick witted.

20 comments :

  1. I only read the first one, I should give the others a go! x

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  2. I have never even heard of these books! Thank you! I'm putting these on my list... Right now I'm reading The 2nd book to Miss Peregrines School for unusual Children... great book!! The 2nd one is called Hallow City, by Ransom Riggs, Both take place mostly in England/Wales. Fantastic thrillers and a bit scary too! Thanks for the heads up on these books! Tammy

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  3. I've never read any of these. I'm hoping to get a Kindle for my Christmas so I'll that these to my reading list, thanks for the recommendations!x

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  4. I just found two more on Amazon, "Moon over Soho" and "Midnight Riot", Do you by chance know if those are part of the series or are they different story lines? I put all books I want to read on an Amazon Wish list and order them 2nd hand little by little! Then I pass them on to friends. Tammy x

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  5. I was on vacation in London this summer (and now we're exploring moving!) and saw Rivers of London in a bookshop. We'd already bought too many books, so I didn't get it, but as soon as I got home, I bought it. Buying it took a while, because it turns out that the North American title is Midnight Riot - makes me wish I'd bought a copy in England, I like Rivers of London better!

    It was such a great read, especially right after our vacation, because a few of the scenes (people piling out of a restaurant, near Cecil Court) were places we walked by every day because we were staying nearby!

    Thanks for reminding me I should finally get around to reading the others in the series!

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  6. I love the sound of these books. My to-read pile is already full to bursting but a couple more won't hurt! :)

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  7. I haven't yet read Broken Homes, but I'm dying too! I need to find a bookstore with English books stat!

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  8. totally getting these, they sound fab! I've said it before but I love your book recommendations!

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  9. A couple more never hurt (she says just before being toppled by her own tower of books...!)

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  10. Isn't it a great series - there are parts of London I've explored all due to these books!

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  11. Moon over Soho is the second in the series, Midnight Riot is the US title for the first book.

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  12. Oh, having a kindle is fantastic - I always swore I'd hate them but they're so perfect!

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  13. These sound great Tammy - they've dropped straight on my wishlist to read too x

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  14. You would be more than welcome to borrow mine xx

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  15. No, I'm still too much of a solid book reader to purchase an e-reader. I may break down soon though because the lack of English books in Lithuania is killing me

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  16. I just have the bog-standard no-bells-or-whistles basic models and it's fantastic.

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  17. Just ordered the first one - looking forward to reading :)

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