Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

I purchased a copy of this book for my personal reading.

I’ve been looking for something different to try in my reading for some time. I was always guilty of sticking to the same few authors, but since starting up Books and Beyond Reviews I vowed to change that. Having read a lot of Terry Pratchett fantasy has become a firm favourite genre of mine. Mix that together with a crime procedural tale (another winner in my books) and I had found a series I couldn’t pass up.

Rivers of London is the first book in the series of the same name from British author Ben Aaronovitch follows probationary Met Police officer Peter Grant – an easily distracted but capable officer with aspirations of becoming a detective. Just days away from starting a career in police paperwork, a brutal murder offers a career-defining opportunity for Grant. While on duty, manning the police cordon at the scene of a grisly murder on a cold winter’s night, Grant encounters the only eye witness to the crime, a man who just so happens to be a ghost. But this is only the beginning of the weirdness for Peter.

Having fallen down the rabbit hole into a world of weirdness most people don’t even know exists, Grant finds himself plucked from a future working in drudgery, and dropped into a life of investigating crimes involving the paranormal. Just when his training should be coming to a close his new boss – Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale – develops his skills in detecting and communing with the paranormal, along with learning spells that just might save his life out in the field.

The Rivers of London series is one I have been meaning to get on to having heard it recommended by numerous other Terry Pratchett fans. Aaronovitch has hit the nail on the head from a sci-fi/fantasy side. The blend of myth and lore, and the creative ideas alone would be enough to make a brilliant story. The work put in to make a believable and yet entertaining crime procedural is not to be discredited. What sets this work apart in my opinion is the masterful way in which Ben Aaronovitch has taken two seemingly disparate genres and fusing them together wonderfully. I would have to classify Rivers of London as one of my books of the year and a new favourite series that I cannot wait to dive deeper into!

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