The Really Good Stuff I’m Reading Right Now : Wizard Detectives Edition

August 7, 2013

I read a LOT of books. It would basically be my job, if my job wasn’t writing them myself. So, I figured I’d do a little feature every week or so where I show off the best of the books I’m reading right now. This week features…

(drumroll please)

Ben Aaronovitch : The Peter Grant Mysteries 

I’m lying a little bit when I say I’m reading these right now. I actually read Rivers of London, the first in the series, in March last year. An amazing friend of mine told me it was the best book she’d ever read, which seemed as good a recommendation as any – and she was right, too. I read the whole book overnight – which made the scary parts (of which there are many) even better, and the funny parts (of which there are even more) even funnier. Delicious. I lapped it up, and I distinctly remember reaching the final page at about 6AM, as the sun was creeping in through my windows like an unusually cheerful vampire on the prowl, and thinking ‘Wait, is that all?’

I’m going to go ahead and warn you, potential readers, that these books are literally unputdownable. That’s a lie. You can put them down if you really have to (Like, if your house is on fire or something) but you really, really won’t want to. Rivers of London had me hooked from the first page, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the other two books in the series, Moon Over Soho and Whispers Underground, were equally brilliant.

These aren’t the kind of whodunnits you’d take Miss Marple to. They’re gritty, horribly realistic, and full to the brim with mild – to – moderate peril. There’s also wizards, if you object to that kind of thing. Yep. I said wizards.

Kawaii wizards! 

Rivers of London introduces us to DC Peter Grant, a regular run of the mill bobby on a routine murder investigation, who’s only witness happens to be a ghost. This, surprisingly enough, catches the attention of the top-secret paranormal wing of the London Met, which leads to DC Grant becoming the only apprentice wizard in London, and throws him feet-first into London’s seedy magical underworld as he grapples with every supernatural creature under the eerie full moon, from ghosts to (minor) goddesses, all while trying to get to the bottom of an ancient mystery that nearly gets him killed. More than once. Everyone with me so far? Good. It gets better.

Book Two, Moon Over Soho, introduces us to The Little Crocodiles, a group of black – uh ‘Ethically Challenged’ – magicians, educated at Oxford and now the puppeteers behind London’s criminal underworld. But that’s the least of DC Grant’s troubles – someone’s killing jazz musicians by feeding on their life-force, and if the perp isn’t apprehended asap, DC Grant’s Dad could be the next victim. A slightly disappointing sequel hook and an ominous lack of resolution mark this one out as a definite ‘second book in the trilogy’, but it’s still just as gripping and tense as the first. Aaronovitch keeps the tension up all the way to the end, and beyond – I don’t even remember the gap between putting Moon Over Soho down and picking Whispers Underground – I was that excited to keep reading. Seriously, I moved house and barely even noticed because I was still completely absorbed in these books. They’re so good.

And if, like me, you’ve been eagerly awaiting the next in the series, you’ll be happy to know that as of the 25th of July 2013, Broken Homes is available in hardcover in U.K bookshops. It looks like this :

Now go buy it!