This book was recommended to me by my university tutor as part of my dissertation work and I thought I would at least give it a go. I am so glad I did.
Rivers of London follows PC Peter Grant who, after interviewing a witness to a very violent murder who also so happens to be a ghost, discovers the magical world hidden behind the everyday life of modern London, guided by Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale who is not all that he appears to be…
This book is a great adventure through London, going behind the tape at crime scenes and the inner workings of London Metropolitan Police force. It is written from a first person POV and the whole adventure is seen through the eyes of PC Peter Grant, who seems to rather enjoy having an ironic and sometimes sarcastic take on his world.
Aaronovitch’s novel is great fun, taking the reader through London’s theatre district and weaving in the original story of Punch and Judy.
Now, in regards to that, I want to briefly discuss the level of research involved in this novel. I admire his level of research and attention to detail around the London Metropolitan Police service and the training and the different ranks, the equipment that the Police use and the organisation of the service. It is also his research into the legends and myths of the Thames Valley area (that PC Grant does himself) and the original story of Punch and Judy, Pulcinella, and how he has applied this knowledge to his work and created characters and stories from it. There is also the medical terminology and research he would have had to research too for the scenes with Dr Walid. Whilst it could be viewed as rather mundane as all writers have to do some form of research usually for their work, I particularly found it interesting and fascinating in this novel.
The version of the book that I own, pictured, also features a short story written and taking place during the 2012 London Olympics.
With Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale away on business, PC Grant is called to a coffee shop to investigate an odd disturbance. He arrives and find himself sharing a coffee with a French wizard who claims he wants to hand himself in for a murder that took place many years before!
This added bonus I particularly enjoyed, especially as it does not focus directly on the Olympics (which I got particularly sick of hearing about!) and provided a new level of information to the world as well as making it bigger.
Overall, this book is great fun and I would highly recommend it.