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Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Enjoyed that more than I thought I would for some reason.

So Peter Grant is a junior police officer in London who is called to patrol a murder scene and there he proceeds to interview a ghost. Thinking he is going crazy he jokes around with a gentleman called Thomas Nightingale who turns out to be an Inspector in charge of the paranormal in London and gets reassigned to him. From there he starts to learn that magic is real and that there all sort of supernatural entities living in and around London and begins to understand the protocols that surround them, all the while investigating a growing series of horrific murders with his fellow officer Leslie.

These books have been on my radar for a while, I was meant to read it years ago as part of a book club but didn’t get around to it that month for whatever reason. It has similar vibes to Dresden (my only other urban fantasy I’ve read much of) in that it’s to do with investigating and the supernatural but there it ends fairly abruptly. Grant is an incredibly sarcastic narrator and his light tone can be fairly drastically contrasted with some of the terrible stuff that actually occurs here. However as his is the sole POV it can be quite engaging and entertaining and it helps to move the story on quickly.

The author clearly knows London quite a lot as it feels like another main character in the story. I’m not sure if he is an ex officer as the minutiae of procedures etc is quite thorough, if he isn’t it certainly appears as if he put in the research. The other characters feel real enough, with a lot of mystery still surrounding Nightingale, but as I find with most first person POV’s, there is always a distance there which can take a few books to overcome. It’s well written and as mentioned has a strong thread of humour running through it which helps get through some of the slower scenes.

I enjoyed this and will move on to the next book but I don’t see myself reading them all through in one go, will probably dip in and out.

4 stars

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