Date finished: Sunday 4th February 2018
First time reading?: No
From Goodreads: “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.”
So at the start of 2018 I placed a book buying ban on myself. The only books I am allowed to purchase this year are the ones I already had pre-ordered at the start of the year. The idea was that I have so many books that have been sat on the shelf unread that I’d finally get around to them and make a dent in the TBR list. I have had books two and three of the “Peter Grant” books sat on the shelf since I bought them when I finished “Rivers of London” the first time I read it …. six years ago. I decided to reread book one to reintroduce myself to the universe before reading books two and three (and book four is also sat waiting on my kindle).
My initial impressions six years ago gave it four stars on Goodreads and according to my minimal review on there I wasn’t blown away by the book the first time round but I obviously enjoyed it enough to purchase the next three books in the series (there are actually six out in total now but book buying ban). Maybe I’ve just matured a little in six years or maybe my tastes have changed slightly because I really enjoyed this book the second time around.
Aaronovitch’s writing pulls you straight in and just drops you right in the middle of the going on in London for the set up, and the pace never really lets up while you’re reading. Our hero, Peter Grant, is a wonderfully flawed individual and the way his career in the force is introduced feels refreshingly realistic.
The undercurrent of Punch and Judy throughout the main story of the novel was wonderfully utilised (I always hated Punch and Judy as a kid); the only real negative I have to make is that the novel is called “Rivers of London” and the Rivers storyline felt a lot like the B story. I just hope Aaronovitch expands on this side of the story arc a little more in alter books.
I’ve dived straight into “Moon Over Soho” after finishing my reread of “Rivers”. It was quite nice going back into book one knowing what was coming and seeing all the indicators for the twists and turns a lot earlier on than I realised. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series 🙂
My rating: 7.5/10