Review: Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

Broken-HomesThis book was a personal purchase.

(Description nicked from B&

“A mutilated body in Crawley means another murderer is on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, who may either be a common serial killer or an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man — a man whose previous encounters I’ve barely survived. I’ve also got a case about a town planner going under a tube train and another about a stolen grimoire.

But then I get word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the truly desperate. If there’s a connection to the Crawley case, I’ll be entering some tricky waters of jurisdiction with the local river spirits. We have a prickly history, to say the least.

Just the typical day for a magician constable.”

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Review: Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under GroundThis book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

(Description nicked from B&

“It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher—and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom—if it exists at all—is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects . . . except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inspector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as ‘the Faceless Man,’ it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and—as of now—deadliest subway system in the world.

At least he won’t be alone. No, the FBI has sent over a crack agent to help. She’s young, ambitious, beautiful . . . and a born-again Christian apt to view any magic as the work of the devil. Oh yeah—that’s going to go well.”

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Review: Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

Moon Over SohoThis book was a personal purchase.

I’ve really come to like the recent upsurge in urban fantasy novels that blend the supernatural with police procedural.  The two elements mix well and often create a tense and gripping story.  Ben Aaronovitch has tapped into this with wonderful results.  His second novel, Moon Over Soho, continues the adventures of PI Peter Grant in the streets of a London far different than what you may have seen.

Peter Grant may still be recovering emotionally from the events of a couple of months back, but his partner Leslie is still physically healing from her horrible facial wounds.  While she recovers, Grant works with his mentor Nightingale to improve his ability to control magic.  But the respite isn’t long, and soon there’s another body to deal with—this one emitting the faint strains of a jazz tune.

Now Grant and Nightingale are caught up in a mystery that may have begun during World War II, a mystery that leaves jazz musicians dead for apparently no reason.  And to solve this case, Grant is going to have to turn to someone very close to home: his own dad.

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Review: Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

Midnight RiotThis book was a personal purchase.

Supernatural police procedurals can offer a wealth of plot to readers.  There’s mystery, there’s hard-boiled detective work, there’s some kind of otherworldly being, and often enough there’s a touch of romance or magic.  Midnight Riot packs all of the above into an entertaining and highly readable novel.

London beat cop Peter Grant is about to be assigned out to a boring desk job when he gets involved in a very unusual murder case: the victim was apparently decapitated with a baseball bat.  As this is impossible for a normal human to achieve, the police are understandably confused.  But Grant gets some information about the murder from a strange informant—one who turns out to be a ghost.

His interest in the case leads him to Inspector Nightingale, the one-man task force assigned to solve cases with supernatural involvement.  Grant is now Nightingale’s apprentice, learning not only magic but the secret lore of London, including how to approach the various gods, goddesses and other beings that rule its streets.  As more bodies pile up, Grant must race to find the killer’s identity before all hell literally breaks loose.

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