Synopses & Reviews
My name is Peter Grant, and I am a keeper of the secret flame -- whatever that is.
Truth be told, there's a lot I still don't know. My superior Nightingale, previously the last of England's wizardly governmental force, is trying to teach me proper schooling for a magician's apprentice. But even he doesn't have all the answers. Mostly I'm just a constable sworn to enforce the Queens Peace, with the occasional help from some unusual friends and a well-placed fire blast. With the new year, I have three main objectives, a) pass the detective exam so I can officially become a DC, b) work out what the hell my relationship with Lesley Mai, an old friend from the force and now fellow apprentice, is supposed to be, and most importantly, c) get through the year without destroying a major landmark.
Two out of three isnt bad, right?
A mutilated body in Crawley means another murderer is on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, who may either be a common serial killer or an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man -- a man whose previous encounters I've barely survived. I've also got a case about a town planner going under a tube train and another about a stolen grimoire.
But then I get word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the truly desperate. If there's a connection to the Crawley case, I'll be entering some tricky waters of juristiction with the local river spirits. We have a prickly history, to say the least.
Just the typical day for a magician constable.
"With irreverent humor and a fast-paced plot, Aaronovitch cheekily marries the ancient Arts with the Internet age in the fourth installment (after 2012's Whispers Underground) of an excellent series featuring modern-day Constable Peter Grant on the trail of a new magical mystery. Two grisly murders, an apparent suicide, a stolen book from the Bodleian Library's secret collection, and a militant Russian Night Witch lead Peter inexplicably to Skygarden, a threatened housing project built by an eccentric 1970s architect. He and Lesley, his partner-in-solving-crime, must go undercover to discover what exactly is happening at Skygarden, and what if anything it has to do with the twisted, dangerous and ever-elusive Faceless Man. The case comes to an explosive conclusion just as Peter pieces it together; but as with the previous books, though he solves the mystery he does not necessarily win in the end. Leaving the reader with more questions than answers, every plot revelation brings with it the realization that the reader has only begun to scratch the surface of backstory in this deeply-layered, richly imagined London. Smart and gritty, twisted and whimsical, Aaronovitch has proved yet again that secrets are his specialty. Agent: John Parker, Zeno Agency. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"The most satisfying fantasy thriller to hit bookshelves in quite some time." SFX Magazine
“The perfect blend of CSI and Harry Potter.” io9
"Aaronovitch makes the story sing, building momentum until the ending is literally breathless.” SF Revu
"The prose is witty, the plot clever, and the characters incredibly likeable." Time Out
Ben Aaronovitch's bestselling Rivers of London urban fantasy series - "The perfect blend of CSI and Harry Potter." --io9
A mutilated body in Crawley. A killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, possibly an associate of the twisted wizard known as the Faceless Man. Or maybe just a garden-variety serial killer.
Before apprentice wizard and Police Constable Peter Grant can even get his head 'round the case, two more are dropped in his lap: a town planner has gone under a tube train, and there's a stolen grimoire for Grant to track down.
So far, so London.
But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the truly desperate.
Is there a connection?
And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River--in the jurisdiction of some pretty prickly local river spirits?
About the Author
Ben Aaronovitch was born in London in 1964 and had the kind of dull routine childhood that drives a man either to drink or to science fiction. He is a screenwriter, with early notable success on BBC's leg3endary Doctor Who, for which he wrote some episodes now widely regarded as classics, and which even he is quite fond of. After a decade of such work, he decided it was time to show the world what he could really do, and embarked on his first serious original novel. The result is Midnight Riot, the debut adventure of Peter Grant, followed by Moon Over Soho. He can be contacted vis his website, http://www.the-folly.com/.