Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

This is the second book in the Rivers of London series which is a sort of Harry Potter meets Scott & Bailey.

Imagine, if you will, a secretive, well-funded branch of the Metropolitan Police, tasked with dealing with cases involving magic and the supernatural. Well, calling them a ‘branch’ might be overstating it; there’s just the two of them: Peter Grant, police constable and wizard-in-training; and his mentor, Thomas Nightingale, a detective inspector who seems to have been alive since the nineteenth century.

It’s by no means an original concept, but I don’t think I’ve come across an urban fantasy novel (or is it magic realism?) that’s so well-written. The sense of place you get is extraordinary; Aaronovitch has mapped London to destruction, giving himself a rich environment in which to explore this magical world of vampires, witches and river gods.

The characters receive similar treatment: no one is a stereotype, and no one is quite what they seem, and everyone gets a back story woven throughout the novel which brings the whole book to life.

The writing is tight, funny, highly detailed (especially concerning the areas of jazz music, spell-casting for beginners and police procedure) and the pacing is superb.

I’m trying hard but I can’t really fault it, but it’s a complex novel with a lot of in depth background info that still manages to grip the reader from start to finish.

I’m going to have to give it ten out of ten. Great job!

Join in…