Friday, April 18, 2014

The Sunday Book: Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch

I have a proper Sunday Book in the pipeline so this is just a quicky but I wanted to spread the joy. Dianne turned me on to Ben Aaronovitch and his Rivers of London series and I accidentally read the first two books in about three days. I actually rarely read funny, fast paced, adventure type books in print (I get those hits from fic) and I had forgotten what a pleasure it is. I have included the blurb for Rivers of London (Book 1) and a few of my favourite quotes below but I just wanted to add that a) these properly made me grin on the tube, b) they are very London-centric which I enjoyed but might be alienating? c) the plotting is sharp and the characters are delightful, d) if you really want 'What would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz' (as per one of the cover quotes) you should just re-read Drop Dead Gorgeous/The Way We Get By which are obv the pinnacle of that genre.

(We have a new laptop. It has a forward facing camera because we are MODERN. Hence the high quality book selfie)(Why isn't the singular selfy?)

My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. 
Now I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden... and there's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair. 
The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or die trying.
"Being a seasoned Londoner, Martin gave the body the 'London once-over' - a quick glance to determine whether this was a drunk, a crazy or a human being in distress. The fact that it was entirely possible for someone to be all three simultaneously is why good-Samaritanism in London is considered an extreme sport - like base-jumping or crocodile wrestling."

"On duty as uniformed doorman that day was Gurcan Temiz of Tottenham via Ankara. As a typical Londoner, Gurcan had a high tolerance threshold for random thoughtlessness; after all, if you live in the big city there's no point complaining that it's a big city, but even that tolerance has its limit and the name of that limit is 'taking the piss'."


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