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Rivers of London/Midnight Riot review

Rivers of London (Midnight Riot US release) by Ben Aaronovitch (Peter Grant #1)

Synopsis (from Amazon)
My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. Now I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden . . . and there's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair. The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or die trying. 

* * *
I have one word to describe this book, and it's TERRIFIC. There is always a special place among the books I read for British authors.

The writing style, the language, the grittiness and feeling that this is real, the peculiar British humour - I absolutely love all that. Ben Aaronovitch has it in spades.

First of all, Peter is a klutz. Adorable, sarcastic as any Londoner, but a klutz. That's why he failed to get top marks for his chemistry to get into a university, and that's why his superiors think that the only place he will be good at is The Case Progression Unit where you basically play a role of a uniformed secretary.

But Peter has got "the touch". His father was a famous jazz musician until his heroin habit got in the way, and his son has the same talent - he is attuned to magic. When he decides to interview the ghost on the scene of murder, his life irrevocably changes and he becomes an apprentice for an inspector/wizard Thomas Nightingale.

Now he is studying magic, trying to diplomatically solve the territorial conflict between Mother Thames and Father Thames - two warring gods of London rivers, and investigate particularly gruesome string of murders around London.

This book has it all - wonderful plot, juicy secondary characters, numerous jokes about London Police and Harry Potter, and plenty of tension.

I strongly recommend it to anyone who loves urban fantasy. I promise you'll enjoy it!

Second book Moon Over Soho is already out and I plan to read it. Third book Whispers Under Ground is out on the 30th of August 2011.

" I gave the prescribed Metropolitan Police "first greeting".
"Oi!" I said "What do you think you're doing?"
"The Metropolitan Police Service is still, despite what people think, a working-class organisation and as such rejects totally the notion of an officer class. That is why every newly minted constable, regardless of their educational background, has to spend a two-year probationary period as an ordinary plod on the streets. This is because nothing builds character like being abused, spat at and vomited by members of the public."
Examples of British humour - police sketch....

*some swearing*
and because I couldn't resist, - vampires...

* * *
Замечательная книга! Как обычно, очень жизненно и по-английски. Ржала с типично британских словечек и замечаний главного персонажа, констабля Питера Гранта.

Питер - сын эмигрантов из Сьерра-Леоне, который из-за своей рассеянности не набрал необходимых очков, чтобы поступить в университет и изучать химию, а вместо этого вступил в ряды лондонской полиции. И вот заканчиваются его первые два года службы, и скоро будет вынесено решение, куда его отправят.

Как молодой констабль, Питер со своей подругой Лесли, стоят в одну ночь охраняя сцену, где произошло убийство и, пока Лесли бегает за кофе, Питер видит местного призрака. Ему приходит в голову его расспросить как свидетеля, и от этого вся его жизнь меняется.
Его находит волшебник-инспектор Томас Найтингейл и предлагает Питеру стать его учеником.  Так как единственная другая альтернатива Гранта - это работа в канцелярском отделе, он с радосттью соглашается.

С этого момента Томас и Питер расследуют жуткие преступления, в которых замешана магия и в то же время пытаются разрешить конфликт между двумя божествами Темзы - Папой Темзы и Мамой Темзы, которы поделили годы назад Лондон и его окрестности, и теперь Папа Темзы хочет большего.

Питер только начинает свою учёбу, но происходит что-то что выбивает Томаса из расследования, и в конце Питеру приходится полагаться только на себя, чтобы спасти свою жизнь и жизнь своих друзей и разрешить конфликт между богами.
Ох, как же мне понравилось!

Великолепный сюжет, оригинальные находки, сильные второстепенные персонажи, постоянные ссылки и приколы на Гарри Поттера, и типичная британская бюрократия :)))
Люблю! Надо читать вторую книгу Moon Over Soho и третья выходит 30.08.11.
Цитаты и примеры британского юмора см.выше.



Anonymous said...

I'm about to start this book, and after reading this review, I'm a million times more excited! Great review! :D

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Thank you! Hope you like it, I'm definitely reading the second book, ordered it from the library already.

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