Book Review: Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

The third book in the series and PC Peter Grant is neck-deep in death, murder and magic again.

This time though, he finds himself exploring the world beneath London, the Tube and Underground Railway system. Oh, and the minor thorny issue of the victim being the son of a high-ranking USA diplomat so having to deal with a FBI agent on his tail, the trade in pottery and counterfeits and discovering that the residents of London, magical and otherwise, are not the only ones who live in the city.

I know I have spoken about research before with Aaronovitch and in this, it was his exploration of London’s Camden Market and the pottery trade, the art colleges and art gallery installations (I don’t go to art galleries do this was of fascination to me), the London Underground, it’s tunnels and the procedures of investigating crime on the Underground and, further still, the sewer system. There is also the revelations at the end and the technology mentioned as being used.  (I won’t go into it too much as I do not wish to end up giving away spoilers for anyone who has not read this book yet).

For a non-Londoner like me (I’ve only been down once in my whole life), this book (along with the others in series) provide a fascinating insight into London life and it’s transport system and the world beneath it’s streets. I hope Aaronovitch continues on with the high level of research and writing, including the wit and humour PC Grant uses time and again and makes me laugh out loud time and again.

 

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Book Review: Moon Over SoHo by Ben Aaronovitch

Moon Over SoHo is the second book in Aaronovitch’s PC Peter Grant series.

This second novel picks up after the first book, exploring the consequences of what happened and also starting on a new mystery after the death of a jazz musician. At first glance, everything seems all above board but when Peter starts digging under the surface, the death takes on a distinctly magical (as well as musical feel), leading Peter deep into the shady world of SoHo after dark.

This book does not suffer (too much!) from the flagging and dip in quality that is often experienced in second book. Instead, it explores more of the world that Aaronovitch has created and continues with the quality of wit and humour found in the first book. In addition to this, Aaronovitch continues his high quality writing when it comes to research.

Now, in my first review of Rivers of London, I discussed the level of research done and I wanted to discuss it here again.

In this, the second, it was about the historical context for the novel (both through history from the Second World War to more recent history of crime and police corruption), the discussion of jazz music and the organisation of thee musicians guild in London and the area the novel takes place in. There would also have been some medical research again.

It is Aaronovitch’s attention to detail that I particularly like about his work and enjoy.