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 one that I recommend to nearly everyone. Disclosure: post contains affiliate links – but at no extra cost to you.
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 be solved with ordinary policing.
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.
Moon Over Soho (Rivers of London 2)
Another instalment of The Rivers of London series, London Bobby Constable Grant gets further 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.
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.)
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 even more.
Definitely 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 overwhelm and dry out the plotlines, and the many insights to the world of London Bobbies are very quick-witted.
I do so adore this series.
(Please note any links to Amazon are through my Amazon Associates account, which means I make a little money (less than 5%) from any purchases made after clicking through these links and it adds nothing to the price of your book. This helps support my book addiction, so if you are interested in buying the book, please click through the links.)