Friday, 1 July 2016

Foxglove Summer (Rivers of London 5)

Ben Aaronovitch
Gollancz

In the fifth of his bestselling series Ben Aaronovitch takes Peter Grant out of whatever comfort zone he might have found and takes him out of London - to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. But while you can take the London copper out of London you can't take the London out of the copper.
Travelling west with Beverley Brook, Peter soon finds himself caught up in a deep mystery and having to tackle local cops and local gods. And what's more all the shops are closed by 4pm.



I really like this 'Rivers of London' series so it's a very good day when a new one comes into my possession.  This one is the fifth in the series and, quite literally, opens up a whole new world for police officer and apprentice wizard Peter Grant.

In this one Peter is taken far outside his London comfort zone as he's packed off to rural Herefordshire to check if there's any magical element to the disappearance of two young girls.  There is, of course, and the book details Peter's efforts to work out what the hell it is alongside his new country copper mate Dominic and his very good friend Beverley.


Along the way we get to meet one of Detective Chief Inspector Nightingale's old colleagues, Hugh Oswald and his intriguing bee obsessed grand-daughter and a whole new element of the magical world that Peter has got himself in the middle of.  There are occasional glimpses of the wider story with cryptic texts from the estranged Lesley but this one is very much a stand alone story and perhaps all the better for it.

I really like Nightingale and the whole Folly set-up and I would genuinely love Aaronovitch to explore the history of it in more detail somewhere but equally it's nice to see Peter off the leash and running on his own instincts and, for the most part, getting it spot on.

The story is loose limbed and lively so it doesn't ever feel like we're moving from plot point A to plot point B to C etc and the supporting cast, Beverley in particular, are engaging and interesting in their own right.

The book, because it's a Waterstones edition ends with a little short about a magical granny which is fun and the book closes with an ominous warning and a palpable desire for the next in the series to turn up soon.

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NB - you can read our write-ups of the first 3 books in the 'Rivers of London' series here and the 4th here.

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