19 October 2011

Recent Reading - Rivers of London

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Very much enjoyed this urban fantasy police procedural, I expected to as I've heard mostly good things about it.
Set in London (natch) this book is about Peter Grant, a young mixed-race police officer who takes a witness statement from a ghost while guarding a crime scene. This surprising incident leads to him being placed in a very specialist division of the Metropolitan Police force, which deals with the supernatural and consists of Peter and his superior officer Inspector Nightingale.

The book was an amusing and exciting read, it dealt with some pretty nasty killings and unpleasant magic and while certain plot points were as I expected there were twists that left me surprised and keen to read on.
I liked the modernised take on mythology with the various rivers that flow through London being personified, mostly by black women. The comparison between the white, country dwelling Father Thames and his streams and tributaries and the black, urban Mother Thames and her daughter-rivers was interesting. Like Mike Shevdon's Sixty One Nails this is an urban fantasy which includes the countryside and acknowledges its difference to the city without making it out to be scary.
I very much enjoyed this book, though I did find the scenes which involved rioting and fire eerily prescient.
Also the front cover with all that densely-packed writing was distracting and fascinating. I don't usually mention cover art much, but in case I was very impressed.

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