‘’Rivers of London’ is the first in an urban fantasy series that so far has four books in it, and I look forward to reading those other three. Constable Peter Grant is coming to the end of his probationary period as a new police officer and faced with the prospect of being put on a desk job when a witness to a murder turns out to be a ghost. But that’s not the strangest part; it turns out that the London PD has a special unit for supernatural crimes and goings on. It is staffed by one person, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale- and, now, by Constable Grant. Peter is our narrator, and he quickly proved to be someone I’d like to spend time with, listening to him tell stories in a pub.
Up to now, Grant has not believed in anything supernatural. Suddenly he is thrown into a world he’s not noticed before; ghosts, learning magic, spirits of the rivers, a housekeeper who isn’t quite human. He accepts it all with amazing easiness, though. I suppose that’s part of living in a huge city; you get used to running into unusual people and things. When it becomes obvious that the supernatural killer the ghost witnessed is a serial killer things get more complicated. To add to learning magic and solving the crime, Peter must act as liaison between Father Thames and Mother Thames, who are feuding.
I loved how the gods and goddesses of the rivers – the genii locorum - are still in place, even with modern London laid over the ancient landscape. To me, that was even more appealing than the vengeance story that started over a hundred years ago. While the characters aren’t terribly deep- there isn’t much fleshing them out- they are likable and I’m hoping to get to know them better in later volumes. The book is funny and exciting. It would make a great series on the BBC.
The American edition was renamed "Midnight Riot' for some reason.
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