Doctor Who screenwriter Ben Aaronovitch's superbly entertaining supernatural crime series has, with its witty one-liners and wonderfully erudite take on London, won a legion of fans in double-quick time.
Peter Grant is learning magic fast. And it's just as well - he's already had run ins with the deadly supernatural children of the Thames and a terrifying killer in Soho. Progression in the police force is less easy, especially when you work in a department of two. A department that doesn't even officially exist. A department that if you did describe it to most people would get you laughed at.
And then there's his love life. The last person he fell for ended up seriously dead. It wasn't his fault, but still. Now something horrible is happening in the labyrinth of tunnels that make up the tube system that honeycombs the ancient foundations of London. And delays on the Northern line is the very least of it.
Time to call in the Met's Economic and Specialist Crime Unit 9, aka 'The Folly'. Time to call in PC Peter Grant, Britains Last Wizard.
This edition is read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Kobna is a film, theatre, television, and radio actor. His television credits include Little Britain, Saxondale, Pulling, Taking the Flak, Star Stories, and Sirens; his theatre credits include lead roles at the National, Tricycle, Young Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange, Bush, and Shakespeare's Globe theatres, and he has also been in numerous BBC radio plays. He has voiced audiobooks by Alastair Reynolds and Ben Aaronovitch for Orion.
©2012 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group
This is another great volume in the Peter Grant series. Aaronovitch has established a set of likeable three-dimensional characters who inhabit a rich urban fantasy world. The central narrative thread of this volume (investigating a crime in the underground) moves along nicely, and the broader narrative arcs of the series are developed. Aaronovitch also does well in tackling some tricky real-world issues such as race and disability without ever seeming to preach. It's good to see Lesley back doing policework.
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's narration is flat-out terrific. There is a broader set of accents for him to contend with here, but each voice emerges as individual and convincing. The central performance of Peter Grant holds the whole thing together - colloquial, self-deprecating, bright and perceptive in many ways, a bit obtuse in others.
Oh, and did I mention how funny the whole thing is in places? In fact, the only problem with this audiobook is the funny looks you get as you walk along apparently chortling to yourself.
These books are addictive as is the Narrator. I was very sceptical when I downloaded the first book in the series and initially was not sure about Kobna Holdbrook-Smith but the characters quickly grew on me and the knowledge of London is fascinating. Nothing gets done when I have these books plugged in and I've have been known to drive the long way home to find out how Peter, Lesley and Nightingale fare.
I admit to being a little concerned before I bought this audiobook; the third in a series of books all to often shows the author flagging in invention and repeating previous plot devices. Not a bit of it! This book is as enjoyable as the first two. This is partly because of Kobna Holdbrook - Smith's superb narration; there is something about his depiction of the hero, (the book is written in the First Person) that perfectly compliment's the authors world view. Sometimes a narrator can ruin a perfrctly good book, but in this case, It is a match made in heaven!
I really cant recommend this highly enough, it's a really fine audiobook. The 3rd in Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series & this is the best yet although If you haven't read/listened to the others I wouldn't start here as it'll spoil the previous plots somewhat.
Some people have said Harry Potter meets the Bill & suppose that gives you some idea but I think there's more humour, intelligence & fun than that description would indicate.
The reader is absolutely superb & makes the experience totally believable.
If like me you've lived a long time in London you'll get even more out of it as the descriptions of familiar places make it resonate even more.
I did my degree in English, so now I prefer thrillers, Krimis, SciFi, and anything with vampires. Faves incl Terry Pratchett & Iain Banks.
The third instalment in the Peter Grant/Folly/Rivers of London series delivers as you would hope. As before, the plot bounces along at a cracking rate, the dialogue and language is witty and well-observed and the police procedural aspects are enlightening. And as always, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's reading is utterly superb, bringing all the characters to vivid life.
This time Lesley May is back, working with Peter Grant to solve a murder and a mystery and learning more about the supernatural London hiding beneath the surface we all know and recognise. The book works well alone as a mystery with a solution, but also advances the greater Folly story and the personal tales of the characters we know and love.
I love these books. I think they're up there with Terry Pratchett in terms of novelty and quality of writing. The characters are rich and rounded and the plot is up to snuff. If you're looking for a first book from Ben Aaronovitch, I'd still suggest starting with Rivers of London because it explains from the beginning. However, this one holds up on its own.
I'm fussy and I highly recommend this.
Another fantastic title from the great combination of Ben Aaronovitch's writing and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's narration. The characters are now familiar and becoming more so with every book - it is like a following a good TV series!! I love the whole premise of the stories and can't wait for the next installment.
A third wonderful book in the series with more fantastic narration from Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Without a doubt this series by Ben Aaronovitch are my favorite audio books by some way
This series gets better and better. Love the premise, love the wry humour, love the delivery. Love the way it brings London alive, not in the touristy sense, but the real, I live here and I know about its' nooks and crannies sense. I do hope it can keep going.
I have just finished the third of Aaronovich's Rivers of London series and I have found them an absolute pleasure. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith reads them superbly, somehow coping with the vast array of accents thrown at him. I understand there is another on the way - I can't wait!
I love Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series, well written, interesting, imaginative and vivid characters. The narration is always excellent and a large part of why I enjoyed the book so much.
"It felt heavy and too elaborated"
I missed the spunk and funk from the first two books.
In parts it was too elaborated. The description of the rummaging through the sewers was too long and did not really develop in anything to help the unfolding of the story.
The introducing chapter was interesting and one thought it would be put to use in some way over the span of the story but it came back at the very end with a little twist but had nothing to do with the main storyline.
Mr Holdbrook-Smith's performance was again very good and enjoyable. At times Leslie's nasal lisp was a bit hard to understand though.
The long trail through the sewers.
Now I wonder if in the next sequel the British Museum of Natural History will come to life at night?
"Ripping good fun"
Yes, again and again and again. The book is so much fun and the narration by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is exceptional.
If you're a fan of the Iron Druid books you certainly wont go wrong here. A step above Dresden.
Absolutely, I had to force myself to stop so I could get some sleep or stop driving around. Highly addictive listening.
Urban fantasy and mystery rolled in to one brilliant package and presented with the utmost finesse.
"Aaronovitch, you've done it again!"
a very fun read that's fantastically narrated. though not as deep a mystery as expected.
"Kobna Holdbrook-Smith - BRILLIANT!!"
The story was made that much better by Kobna's narrative
The characters came to life in each book because of the excellent stories and the fantastic narrator
I'm sad because I have to wait until June for the next audiobook in this series
"A Compelling listen"
Yes, interesting plot and well narrated
His british accent places the book squarely in London
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