In that narrow, mysterious space where fantasy and crime intersect, Ben Aaronovitch continues to create an immersive and finely crafted world of his own. Expect a glorious reprise of PC Grant and his unique narrative voice.
Suspicious deaths are not usually the concern of PC Peter Grant or the Folly, even when they happen at an exclusive party in one of the most expensive apartment blocks in London. But Lady Ty's daughter was there, and Peter owes Lady Ty a favour.
Plunged into the alien world of the super-rich, where the basements are bigger than the house and dangerous, arcane items are bought and sold on the open market, a sensible young copper would keep his head down and his nose clean. But this is Peter Grant we're talking about.
He's been given an unparalleled opportunity to alienate old friends and create new enemies at the point where the world of magic and that of privilege intersect. Assuming he survives the week....
Read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.
Features an audio exclusive interview with Ben Aaronovitch and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.
©2016 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2016 Orion Publishing Group
Along with many other readers, I found the previous instalment in this series a little disappointing, something of a filler. As I hoped, Ben Aaronovitch is back on form with this latest episode in the saga of PC Peter Grant and his dealings with the magical, mythical and fantastical denizens of the demi-monde.
In this book, a long owed favour comes home to roost as the personification of the River Tyburn, Lady Ty, calls in her marker when her daughter is involved in what, initially, appears to be a straightforward drug overdose.
Rapidly however the magical element comes to the fore and the Faceless Man and rogue PC Lesley May enter the story. It would be very easy for this series to slip into predictability - Faceless Man does some mischief, eventually our heroes get close and then he gets away as cleanly as ever. What this author has managed to do is to maintain the viability of the series while moving the story forward and developing the information the police have - as they would in a mundane investigation. With the identity of the Faceless Man finally known, the book builds to a superb and satisfying conclusion while offering plenty of teasers for the next book.
Many familiar character return and some new ones appear keeping the variety that makes this series so enjoyable. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is superb as ever - his narration as Grant is spot on and he manages the wide range of characters with ease.
At the end there is a fascinating interview with both Ben and Kobna (though the interviewer is a little annoying).
One word of warning - if you haven't read/heard the previous books in the series, you will miss much of the joy of this book. Whilst the story can be enjoyed in own right, the depth (and to my mind) pleasure of it comes from the build up of story and knowledge from previous novels in the series.
I love Kobna reading these books - he really makes the story live. This book progresses Peter's story well. The only criticism is nothing to do with the book, but with the way that whoever arranges the audio book has not thought about the placement of the interview with Ben and Kobna. It should come after the acknowledgements read by Kobna - instead the loud harsh voice of the interviewer comes straight in after the very quiet ending of the story - it is very jarring, and such a contrast to Kobna's quiet voice, so be prepared!! It gave me such a fright as it was so unexpected. Chapter 17 is the interview.
An avid reader/listener who is addicted to good quality audio books. No fixed genre!
I feel that I must have missed big parts of this book, but when listening again I find I have not. This book has left me slightly confused. With all of the other books the scene has been set and you can set play on your 'imagination video' and as Kobna reads the book you can visualise what is happening. With this book it was totally lacking.
Of course, I love this series, its just this book didnt light my fire as much as the others.
Ahhhh Kobna, I love his voice, I could listen to him read the AA road Map!
I'm going to listen to the whole series again - because I can and you hear something new every time. Please please, if you have just discovered this book on audible, don't buy it, go to the first book, buy that and work your way through the series. Honest its worth it.
Fan of urban fantasy & Victorian gothic especially set in London. Oh, and Georgette Heyer.
I feel like I've been waiting AGES for this (mainly because I have) and then it was over really quickly (mainly because I binge listened in a few sessions) The story is moving on: things are revealed with new characters and old. Some seemingly random people and events from previous books are suddenly significant. More Guleed which is excellent. Nightingale gets more magisterial (magusterial?). We learn more about magic and London history. What's not to love?
DO NOT listen to this until you have read/listened to all the preceding books. This is not a stand alone title. Maybe give the comics a go too. The latter are not essential but a few events from them are referred to in passing and, although this does not affect the ongoing story, it's always good to be an obsessive completist.
Kobna Holdbrook Smyth is excellent as ever. I enjoyed the interview at the end where David Aaronovitch reveals that he writes some accents just to see how Kobna handles them. At any rate, his voice is now and forever that of Peter Grant.
Jackie E. Burns - space artist
Lovely - Ben Aaronovitch has put a bit more muscle into the story arch, fleshed out the minor characters (past AND present), and has woven tantalising threads through the fabric of the main character that may, or may not, bear fruit in future episodes. I love it when I sense a variety of possible future outcomes.
The story unfolds at a very fast pace, yet the characters are always given just enough time to develop without any sense of being rushed. I loved the sprinkling of magical back history throughout the previous books and wasn't disappointed with this volume. And, as always, I especially love the way that Ben Aaronovitch give as much effort to crafting the past and present background, geographically speaking, as he does to his characters.
And as to the performance by Kobna Holbrook-Smith...I love, love, love it. Kobna REALLY brings the story alive with such passion and humour. His timing is amazing.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story and the performance.
I struggled to work out some of the acronyms that litter the story but perhaps there's a glossary in the actual book?
Also found it hard to recall what happened in the last book as it's quite a long time since I listened to it.
And what a sudden ending! I thought something had gone wrong when the voice of the woman interviewing the author and the reader piped up.
I really like KH-S reading these stories and generally enjoy them but this one seemed to finish shortly after it got going.
The book started very well and felt as if it would return the the excellent form of the earlier books in the series. I enjoyed the humour and the mix of characters. However, the ending is such a disappointment. It felt as if it had been finished for a particular deadline, rather than being brought to a proper conclusion in its own right. I can appreciate that certain threads of the story have to be left so that they can be picked up in the next book, but everything was rushed, bundled up in a most unsatisfactory way. I shall undoubtedly read the next one when it appears, but with less of the pleasurable anticipation with which I awaited this one. Perhaps the next should be the last.
Though enjoyable the last couple in the series didn't quite live up to the promise of the first few. This is resolved completely in the Hanging Tree. Much more Nightingale (and Peter reads him so wonderfully well) and a pacey interesting plot. Lots of repeat characters and all in all a cracking good yarn. I felt a little robbed at the end but as you don't get much of an ultimate resolution - just don't make us wait for so long next time Ben. Brilliant.
"If you are a fan then you know"
I love Kobna Holbrook-Smith and I think he embodies all of the series so I don't read the print version
Sort of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
He is fantastic
Loved it but I love the series
Get it read it listen to it and if you haven't started the series I'm envious I wish I hadn't read/listened to it because then I could do it again
"Read in Order, whatever you do!!"
I wouldn't recommend this one directly, but the series? Most DEFINITELY. It's quirky, clever and has so many laugh out loud moments ,this is my most looked forward to series. This book HAS to be read in order. I hadn't caught up on the story before starting in on this one, and I was a little lost with the constant referring to past events. It's a good story regardless, but one of my least favourite of the series
I was a little lost with the referring to past books. There needed to be a little more context given to past events. Otherwise, it was a good book. The story felt a bit disjointed, and didn't have a clear engaging story line that caught me, but it wasn't bad or boring at all.
He has an unreal talent to switch between characters and accents. He is probably my favourite narrator, along side Sebastian York - who has the sexiest voice ALIVE
This is such a fun quirky series. Start at the beginning, and listen to it. The narration brings it alive in a way you wouldn't believe. The only thing that set this back from 5 stars for me, was the storyline not being "bowl me over amazing" like the others I've read, but still, decent.
"I adore this series!"
I wish they came out every month rather than every year! They stories are great fun and Kobna Holbrook Smith brings them to life brilliantly.
"Good story and praise to the auther"
Good story, fun narrating with good use of London slang and dialects
Praise to the author for gathering threads from earlier books, but without closing them all.
He also did a good job of avoid powercreep, what have become stronger in this story is not the protagonist, but police organization behind him (it opens also up for new problems).
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