Midnight Riot

 by Ben Aaronovitch

Mysteries with a touch or more of the supernatural are not hard to find on library and bookstore shelves these days; but I found Ben Aaronovitch’s novel of elastic realism, Midnight Riot, to be something special, mainly because of the voice of the narrator, London Police Constable Peter Grant. Caught in the wrong (or right?) place at the right (or wrong?) time, he stumbles upon a murder scene where a ghost approaches him and claims he witnessed the crime.  As a result, Grant is assigned to work with Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the Department’s go-to man for crimes involving magic. In short order, he finds himself enmeshed in a family feud among the personifications of the various tributaries (both above and below ground) of the Thames River.  Meanwhile, this being a police procedural, he and Nightingale plod away at unraveling not only the original murder, but various other nasty events that seem to be related to it.  And, under Nightingale’s tutelage, Grant begins to develop the magical abilities that he seems to have a gift for (as evidenced by his having been able to talk to the ghost witness in the first place) but of which he’s been previously unaware. Grant’s voice is colloquial and self-deprecating, the pages turn quickly, and London comes alive in all its squalor and beauty. And did I mention Toby, one of the best canine sidekicks in contemporary fiction? Fans of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere should enjoy Aaronovitch’s novel and its sequels quite a lot. Now to decide whether to shelve it with the mysteries or the fantasies…

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

3 responses to “Midnight Riot

  1. Karen

    Thanks for this review, Nancy! I read this book on the strength of it, and really enjoyed it, so I got the second book in the series and it was even better! Now I’m just waiting for the third book to come out.

  2. Mary Brogan-Sizemore

    Thanks a million. I just asked my library to order it!

  3. Odette

    The timing of this post is uncanny. I ordered this book and am fetching it from the post office tomorrow. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s