Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Peter Grant looks look your average London police officer, but he is actually a part-time wizard in a very elite branch of the Metropolitan Police. It’s his job to investigate those crimes that regular cops don’t like to talk about because they often involve vampires or strange things in Underground tunnels. Peter’s latest case features a self-driving killer automobile, a Serbian refugee, the Most Haunted Car in England, a handsome drug dealer with a nice paisley scarf and a seemingly harmless wooden bench with a dark past! Collecting the sell-out smash mini-series, Rivers of London: Body Work!

Constable Peter Grant is nearing the end of his probationary period and is excited to see what his next steps will be in the Metropolitan Police Service. Only he finds himself taking a witness statement from a ghost and all too soon his career takes a sharp sideways turn. Peter discovers there are all manner of paranormal beings out there, and plenty of them call London home.

It has been quite some time since I have been really excited by a paranormal story and this book was absolutely exceptional. I really enjoyed the light, easy to read voice of the author – and of Peter himself – and found the whole story very “moreish” in that I kept on wanting to read just a little bit more, then a bit more after that. There are a bunch of interweaving characters and while the plot seems to meander a fair bit even that I can find acceptable because Peter is entirely new to this world and so everything wasn’t making complete sense to him yet either. There isn’t a lot of cohesion to everything, but I feel this mimics how unusual everything appears to Peter as well.

That said, I found this a very easy to read book and while everything appears scattered at first the tone and overall feel to the whole book – and the new paranormal world opening up to Peter – was so interesting and enjoyable I didn’t think twice about slowing down or stopping. I was again very happy to discover this is the first in a decently sized series and I had already purchased the second story when I was barely halfway through this one.

Readers who like a good police/mystery novel should definitely find this appealing. I also think paranormal readers should be very happy with this book. Readers who don’t mind a bit of humour in their stories – or a lighter take on the various paranormal creatures out there – should definitely feel the style of this novel suits their tastes too.

A brilliant first book and a new-to-me author which I am very happy to add to my collection. Recommended.

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