Rivers of London

Author: Ben Aaranovich
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Crime
Quote: “Which is how I came to be standing around Covent garden in a freezing wind at six o’clock in the morning, and why it was me that met the ghost,”
Setting: London – Present
Premise: Peter Grant, a lowly bobby in London’s Metropolitan Police, is guarding a murder scene, as per proper protocol, when he meets a witness. Unfortunately, the witness is dead, on account of him being a ghost, but that doesn’t stop the doggedly determined Peter from taking a statement. This brings Peter to the attention of DI Thomas Nightingale, the Police Force’s only wizard.

I have an insatiable love of Urban Fantasy, especially when the magical elements are mixed up in a recognisable establishment, so the promise of a Wizarding branch of the Met Police meant this book went straight in the basket.

Peter Grant is a conscientious and dedicated police officer, he follows the rules, he gets the job done, and he investigates every possible lead–even the magic ones. His character is stoic and humorously observant, his sense of humour and distinct voice making for an engaging narrator as we see the chaos unfold in London. The setting is a very realistic present-day London, with observations and witticisms quintessential of real Londoners (after you’ve lived in London for a while it’s really easy to spot the authors who just think they know what it’s like to live there!).

PC Grant starts the book thinking that he knows and understands the world. A logical being, he can’t discount what is in front of his nose, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to find out why it’s there. The who-dunnit aspect of the book keeps the reader guessing from start to finish, the twist and turns making the big reveal a fun, yet obvious in hindsight surprise.

For the Urban Fantasy and Crime fan, this is a perfect mash of genres in an excellent writing style that just makes you want to keep turning the pages. The entire series grows and develops the world and keeps the magic cleverly interlinked with realism.

You’ve heard enough about how much I like this book, but is this book you’re hunting for?
1. Do you love good police procedural who-dunnit?
2. Do you enjoy the clever meshing of magic into ‘the real world’?
3. Do you enjoy dry humour and witty narration?
If you answered yes, yES, YES! Then this might well be your next favourite read!


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How many times have you, either as a woman yourself or as someone talking to a person with double X chromosomes, heard phrases like ‘Oh I can’t do DIY, I’m not strong enough, or ‘I want to go for a run but it’s going to be dark soon’. The world we live in was designed by men, for men and as a result, is inherently biased against women. From power tools which are designed by default for the average male handspan to medication that was only ever tested on XY chromosome mice, and to urban planning which throws obstacles into the working woman’s life, this book exposes why ‘I’m sorry I’m just really bad at xyz’ should actually be ‘I’m sorry but this thing was not designed for someone like me.’

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