Rivers of London
This was a book I could not put down and placed an order for the next 3 in the series within an hour of closing the last pages. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch is awesome – crime, good-looking police officers, witty writing, a bit of gore, ancient magic, London. One of the reviews on the first page was “what it would be like if Harry Potter joined the Fuzz” and I was sold in a heartbeat.
Peter Grant is a young constable in London (he’s gorgeous and in my dream cast, played by Noel Clarke). He’s funny and cool, and has a crush on one of his colleages, Lesley May (Dream cast: Eve Myles). He is standing guard on a brutal murder scene when he interviews a witness. A dead witness. A ghost. Grant discovers that he has a rare gift for magic is promoted up to a secret branch of the London Police Force, where he becomes an apprentice wizard to Detective Inspector Thomas Nightingale (Dream Cast: Patrick Stewart). Learning magic in this series is not as glamorous as Harry Potter but it is definitely interesting, and a lot of research and science is involved in spells which I found fascinating.
So, the plot develops as Grant and May investigate a decapitation in Convent Garden which leads them to secret police branches, supernatural beings and magic that roams London. The murders appear to be following a script and no one is safe from being possessed by the evil force prowling London that turns them into vicious killers. The murders are actually a bit gory which as a reader can be a bit… nose crinkling. Anyways, Grant learns magic and history to solve the murders. Running parallel is a turf war between the spirits of London’s rivers (hence the title!), Grant has to ‘bridge’ the divide between the north and south London rivers to restore peace, which leads him to meet the vivacious and pretty Beverley Brook (Dream cast: Freema Agyeman).
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Rivers of London and can’t wait to get the next book, Moon over Soho. Plus, the cover art is gorgeous! It’s fast-paced, funny and clever. The plot moves well, and feels like it could easily be made into a slick film (hopefully one featuring my dream cast), and its a really good magic/crime mash up novel.