Friday, 21 October 2016

"Rivers of London" by Ben Aaronovitch

Year of Publication:  2011
Length:  392 pages
Genre:  Fantasy, crime

Police Constable Peter Grant is a rookie in London's Metropolitan Police, and is tasked to guard a headless corpse discovered on the street, and ends up taking a witness statement from a ghost.  He is approached by Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who shows him a secret side to London, a world of magic, ghosts and vampires.  Becoming Nightingale's magical apprentice, Peter finds himself working with Nightingale to police the supernatural world of London.  Peter soon finds himself embroiled in a family feud between two human personifications of the River Thames.  However, London finds itself gripped by a bizarre series of unexplained violent attacks, and Peter has to solve the mystery before it claims the lives of his friends.

This novel is a thoroughly entertaining blend of urban fantasy and police procedural.  It manages to work as both, it's detective story elements are suspenseful and intriguing and the fantasy elements are gripping, and the two blend together well.  It's sometimes dark but, told through the first person perspective of Peter Grant, there's a strong vein of laconic humour running through the book.  It's an imaginative tale, with well-drawn characters and an engaging protagonist.  Sometimes uneven in tone, it tends to veer between light comedy and quite graphic horror, this is still a well-written, fast moving tale that appeal to both fantasy fans and thriller fans looking for something different.


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