Title: Rivers of London
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Number of pages: 432
Started: 30 November 2012
Finished: 10 December 2012
It started at one thirty on a cold Tuesday morning in January when Martin Turner, street performer and, in his own words, apprentice gigolo, tripped over a body in front of the West Portico of St Paul’s at Covent Garden. Martin, who was none too sober himself, at first thought the body was that of one of the many celebrants who had chosen the Piazza as a convenient outdoor toilet and dormitory. Being a seasoned Londoner, Martin gave the body the ‘London once-over’ – a quick glance to determine whether this was a drunk, a crazy or a human being in distress. The fact that it was entirely possible for someone to be all three simultaneously is why good-Samaritanism in London is considered an extreme sport – like base-jumping or crocodile-wrestling. Martin, noting the good-quality coat and shoes, had just pegged the body as a drunk when he noticed that it was in fact missing its head.
Read a longer extract here
Now I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden . . . and there's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.
The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or die trying.
What I thought:
This was a decent book, and as a Londoner it was good to read a book set somewhere that I know well. Except for the magic, of course. I haven’t seen a lot of that about. The book started at a decent pace and quickly developed. It was readable and quite humorous, although by the end I thought it was slightly running out of originality, which was perhaps the result of it being a slightly unusual take on the Metropolitan Police and that it wasn’t delivering the same “new-ness” by the end. I have the next book in the series and will probably read that at some point soon.