Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Broken Homes, by Ben Aaronovitch. Daw Books, 2013

Constable Peter Grant, his mentor Nightingale, and fellow wizard in training and police officer Lesley May are in search of the rogue wizard the Faceless Man and kept busy with magical training and new cases of supernatural crime. When clues lead them to a run down low income apartment building designed by a famous architect, a long stake out ensues. The building is a bone of contention: developers want to take it down to build new, profitable things but it’s on the list of protected sites. Peter finds that the landscaping is a bit unusual- in the magical sense- and that, for a run down, nearly empty building, a lot of concrete work has been done very recently.

I’m a huge fan of Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series, but this one, book four, disappointed me a little. It started out with a bang, and ended with a huge bang –literally- (including a twist that I had a feeling might be coming) but the middle seemed to drag- there was a long stretch with not a whole lot happening. It’s still great fun, but just not up there with the first three. Peter Grant makes a great narrator, with a lot of dark humor, even in the stretches where there was not a lot of action. I love how characters introduced in previous books reappear rather than just go away because they aren’t part of the main plot this go around. It’s a police procedural with magic, supernatural characters, and a lot of snarkiness. 

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