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Foxglove Summer (Rivers of London) Mass Market Paperback – January 6, 2015
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Praise for the Rivers of London series:
"A low-income housing tower gone awry, an old enemy with a bone to pick...and a shocker of an ending—Broken Homes is a delight." —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times-bestselling author
"The prose is witty, the plot clever, and the characters incredibly likeable." —Time Out
"This series is a constant joy to read....I’ve been looking forward all year to find out what happened next, and the book did not disappoint.” —Genevieve Cogman, author of acclaimed The Invisible Library
"It's witty, fun, and full of vivid characters, and the plot twists will keep even seasoned mystery fans guessing." —Publishers Weekly
“The perfect blend of CSI and Harry Potter.” —io9
"This book is, at its heart, a police procedural with an overlay of urban fantasy elements. The voice is persuasive and funny as all get-out, and the reader is engaged with the narrative from the very first page. Aaronovitch has written a diverse cast of characters who all feel like real people with their own specific motivations. This book is simply wonderful." —RT Reviews (top pick)
"The most satisfying fantasy thriller to hit bookshelves in quite some time." —SFX Magazine
"The most entertaining book that I have read in such a long time.... It's very funny, it's very clever, it's very nicely written.... It's such a treat." —Nancy Pearl
"Aaronovitch makes the story sing, building momentum until the ending is literally breathless.” —SF Revu
"Aaronovitch has a very witty, casual voice, with a tendency toward sarcasm and humor, which is threaded throughout Broken Homes. And a few crazy plot twists will devastate and delight fans in equal measure." —RT Reviews
About the Author
Ben Aaronovitch was born in London in 1964 and had the kind of dull routine childhood that drives a man either to drink or to science fiction. He is a screenwriter, with early notable success on BBC's legendary Doctor Who, for which he wrote some episodes now widely regarded as classics, and which even he is quite fond of. After a decade of such work, he decided it was time to show the world what he could really do, and embarked on his first serious original novel. The result is Midnight Riot, the debut adventure of Peter Grant. He can be contacted at his website, the-folly.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Grant is the junior half of the smallest division of the Met (read: Scotland Yard)-- the division responsible for dealing with supernatural crimes. While officially a Police Constable studying for promotion to Detective Police Constable, he is also an apprentice, being apprenticed to the last working "official" wizard in England.
Peter, half white/half Sierra Leonean, has left diverse London for the sticks, and there's a certain amount of discomfort on all sides at first. Cheerfully complicating that is that Peter is in a bit of a mixed relationship himself, and his beautiful black girlfriend has joined him on his trip to the country. I mention that it's a mixed relationship, but I didn't refer to colour-- Beverly is actually the embodied spirit of a river (her mother is the Thames-- Bev's a tributary).
Having no desire to ruin this book for anyone, I think it best to say no more about the plot, beyond saying that it is certainly worth reading.
I do have one ongoing quibble with the novel and its predecessors. PC Grant grew up in London's Council Housing-- what on the US would be called the inner-city projects. The author has chosen to show this by having his protagonist make just one grammatical error, but to make it over and over again. "Me and Lesley did such-and-such." "Me, Dominick and Beverly talked for hours." In places during the series he will acknowledge that he knows it should be "Lesley and I" and "Dominick, Beverly and I", but that he keeps making the mistake despite it bothering his boss, DCI Nightingale.
I don't buy it-- rather, I think that it's merely a means of giving the protagonist a particular voice. The problem is that otherwise the character's grammar is perfectly good and even educated. Thus, every error of that sort in Grant's narration both stands out and rings false.
My complaint notwithstanding, this is one of the best series I've discovered in years.
The novels in Ben Aaronovitch's "PC Peter Grant" (or "Rivers of London") series are:
1. Midnight Riot (PC Peter Grant Book 1)
2. Moon Over Soho (PC Peter Grant Book 2)
3. Whispers Under Ground (PC Peter Grant Book 3)
4. Broken Homes (PC Peter Grant Book 4)
5. Foxglove Summer (PC Peter Grant Book 5)
6. The Hanging Tree (Rivers of London)
If there had been a bit of backstory, this would be a fine novel to start with in the series. It probably is anyway, though it does lack the frenetic tone of the others. However, some of the characters from the other novels make appearances here- though briefly- and these would be puzzling without any context. In all, though I think it was a good call; it's easy for a series to get too caught up in backstory to progress. Maybe just a cast of character list would serve.
I love that Peter is not at all omniscient in these books, giving us readers time to pick up on stuff before he does sometimes! I love the dialog. The plotting is great, too, and with less overwhelming action in this one, one can appreciate the nicely convoluted plot(s) more.
All in all, a wonderful addition to a great series!
But the mad, exuberant climax we have come to expect from this series is missing. The story feels like a minor interlude from the main narrative of the Faceless Man and Lesley. Characters such as Hugh and Mellissa Oswald and her three neighbours, one with an Australian accent are introduced but never developed fully and I was left to wonder why the author bothered. I enjoyed Foxglove Summer but it never left me breathless or close to tears like previous novels in this series.
Eight months later.....
I have just reread Foxglove Summer. Instead of my usual manic devouring of a favourite series, I read slowly and carefully and enjoyed the experience very much. I appreciated the knowledgeable detail more and the many new characters were no longer a distraction. The mayhem may be missing but I have given "Foxglove summer" another star as a fair trade for this pleasurable revisit.