Author – Ben Aaronovitch
Published – 2011
Genre – Fantasy crime fiction
This is the second in the series by Aaronovitch featuring the Police Constable and apprentice magician Peter Grant. The first thing I would say is if you haven’t read Rivers of London (book 1) then do so!
When jazz musician Cyrus Wilkinson suddenly dies and there is a hint of magic about the corpse, Peter is handed the case. His first step in the investigation introduces him to the whirlwind that is Simone, the dead man’s lover and someone who is soon to be a huge distraction for Peter. Suspecting that the jazz element of Wilkinson’s life is particularly relevant to his demise, Peter uncovers a string of similar deaths amongst musicians. This leads us to find out a bit more about Peter’s background, especially his relationship with his jazz musician father.
This book shares the same mix of action and humour as its predecessor, and as you would expect from the second in a series it allows the characters to develop further. (It also has more adult themes.) The story takes place just a short time after the end of Rivers of London and there are a lot of aspects of the story, especially the characters’ personal lives, which are carried on – so I say again – read book 1 first.
To be honest, in coming to write the review I can remember a lot of aspects of the book – it’s packed with huge array of different elements, but I also struggle to remember how they all fit together. It’s a busy plot with lots of different threads, and of course the magic aspects add another dimension which is absent from more conventional police procedurals. An enjoyable book – but pay attention!