If you have not picked up ‘The Rivers of London’ series by Ben Aaronovitch. This is the fourth of a wonderful urban fantasy/detective series set in London and its surrounding areas. Aside from me, this series is recommended by Daniel O’Malley, author of the ‘The Rook’ and has some similarities. I also have learned that Dresden files fans also like this series. If you have read the previous three books you know they are fantastic fun and should be required reading for those with even a passing interest in fantasy, detective novels, and London.
Broken Homes is primarily about Constable Peter Grant,his superior Nightengale, and his friend and fellow constable Leslie. They make up a very small special branch of the police that investigate the ‘things that go bump in the night,’ and they are a nightmare to work with as far as the rest of the police are concerned. There are few hard facts, actual evidence, and clear up rates when investigating the ‘extraordinary.’
While this team is still tracking down “Little Crocodiles” (unlicensed wizards of the day who do not keep The Queens Peace,) Peter comes across several cases with strange facets that put them squarely in their jurisdiction. There is a stolen Grimoire of German origin, a city planner whose suicide by train is not on the up and up, and a mutilated body we believe has ties to The Faceless Man.
Aaronovitch ties all these plots together involving the fabulous Rivers of London Gods and Goddesses, Zach(our favorite connection to the Fey of the city,) and Peter’s family including the wayward 13 year old aspiring wizard Abigail.
‘Broken Homes’ ties in the architecture of the city, previously unknown wizards, and insight into Nightingales’ past. As with his other books, I was so drawn into the story I didn’t notice if the writing was particularly good or not, but I can say it certainly did not detract. The novel is full of humor and if you are looking for a book that is enjoyable, and will allow you to keep your good spirits, this is for you. There is also a huge twist at the end I would not want to spoil. One warning, you do have to read the other three first, but I doubt you will complain.
The audible version of this book with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is delightful. This is a case where the narrator has such a grasp on the novel that I look specifically to listen to it.