Peter Grant is a young mixed race probationary constable in London. He and his friend Lesley are hoping for better assignments but at the moment they’re on call as extra warm bodies when needed—as they are one blustery evening when a body turns up in Covent Gardens. The somewhat inebriated discoverer of said body believed at first it was just a passed out drunk until he noticed it was missing a notable feature—namely, its head.
to not freeze to death waiting on the Murder Investigation Team to do its work,
Peter catches sight of a potential witness to the crime, one Nicholas Wallpenny. He begins with his best interview techniques
and the gentleman turns out to be a veritable fount of information: he saw the whole thing and can describe
exactly how the crime took place and even offer a description of the murderer.
one problem: Nicholas is a ghost. Which
he proves by vanishing.
thing Peter know is that he’s been assigned to Inspector Nightingale as… well,
an apprentice. Because apparently ghosts
are real, magic is real, and the Things That Go Bump in the Night are also real—and
dangerous. Nightingale is a one man department, so it’s not exactly a plum assignment
but since the alternative was the Case Progression Unit (in which one sits and
types in reports for other officers all day), Peter is willing to give it a
He’s going to
be for a heck of a ride.
By the way,
Nightingale is a wizard—not like Harry
One of the
first things I noticed was how funny this book is. It’s not slapstick, but wry observations on
London, the police, and life in general.
I also got caught up in the storylines, even if sometimes I didn’t quite
understand what was going on. (The titular Rivers of London have personas and
complicated relationships.) I really
wanted to know how it all was going to turn out. Aaronovitch has a strong grasp of folklore
and the history of London which he uses to full advantage. I was also enchanted by the mini-tours of
various sections of London as commented on by Peter. It reminds me a bit of the wonderful
Christopher Fowler series The Peculiar
Crimes Unit aka Bryant and May.
addictive, I think I’ll be reading the whole series.
Rivers of London aka Midnight Riot
Moon Over Soho
Whispers Under Ground
The Hanging Tree
Amongst Our Weapons (April 2022)