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.”
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.
The secondary characters of Lesley and Nightingale are good foils for Peter Grant, as he begins the process and discovers there is much more to London than thought. 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 Pratchet when I was younger, but once I was hooked, that was it. It may be that as it’s narrated by a man which is fairly unusual for a Fantasy/Fiction book.
Rivers of London (Rivers of London 1) 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 book; and insights to the London Bobbies are very quick witted. This was so enjoyable, I’m already reading the second book in the series.
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