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Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch review

Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch (Peter Grant #2)

library copy

Synopsis from Goodreads
I was my dad's vinyl-wallah: I changed his records while he lounged around drinking tea, and that's how I know my Argo from my Tempo. And it's why, when Dr Walid called me to the morgue to listen to a corpse, I recognised the tune it was playing. Something violently supernatural had happened to the victim, strong enough to leave its imprint like a wax cylinder recording. 

Cyrus Wilkinson, part-time jazz saxophonist and full-time accountant, had apparently dropped dead of a heart attack just after finishing a gig in a Soho jazz club. He wasn't the first. No one was going to let me exhume corpses to see if they were playing my tune, so it was back to old-fashioned legwork, starting in Soho, the heart of the scene. 

I didn't trust the lovely Simone, Cyrus' ex-lover, professional jazz kitten and as inviting as a Rubens' portrait, but I needed her help: there were monsters stalking Soho, creatures feeding off that special gift that separates the great musician from someone who can raise a decent tune. What they take is beauty. What they leave behind is sickness, failure and broken lives. And as I hunted them, my investigation got tangled up in another story: a brilliant trumpet player, Richard 'Lord' Grant - my father - who managed to destroy his own career, twice. 

That's the thing about policing: most of the time you're doing it to maintain public order. Occasionally you're doing it for justice. And maybe once in a career, you're doing it for revenge.

* * *

Another great story from Ben Aaronovitch. It's not as intense as the first one, but the humor and the observations are just as wry and brilliant.

I think what attracts me to this series is the language; you get unexpected bursts of laughter out of it and pretty much can quote from any page.

“Would you like me to arrest you?” I asked. That’s an old police trick: If you just warn people they often just ignore you, but if you ask them a question then they have to think about it. Once they start to think about the consequences they almost always calm down, unless they’re drunk of course, or stoned, or aged between fourteen and twenty-one, or Glaswegian.

There’s no such thing as a full-service forensics team. It’s very expensive, so you order bits of it up from the Home Office like a Chinese takeout. Judging by the number of noddy suits filing past us Stephanopoulis had gone for the super-deluxe meal for six with extra egg fried rice. I was, I guessed, the fortune cookie.

Peter's life as an apprentice to the magician is not an easy one and it only gets more and more difficult with each case but what I love about this guy is that he takes everything in stride and he improvises like mad. Peter has this brilliant mind of a crazy scientist. He learns spells, takes them apart and improves them - that's what's so fascinating about him. He's got a questioning mind.

This time when he investigates dying jazz musicians, the case hits close to home as his dad is trying to revive his career.

There is also a side case of an evil magician, who is playing havoc in Soho, and whose roots go back to the school where Peter's master learned his craft.

There are clubs with live music, sunrises on Soho's roofs, mad chase for magical creatures, wisps of vestigium... - all of it covering the old secrets and tragedies. There are no happy-endings, instead the end is always bittersweet which somehow makes what ifs of The Metropolitan Police magic even more real.

This is a solid series with great writing and world-building, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes urban fantasy with witty and wry male lead characters. 

* * *

Ох, нравятся мне эти книги. Хороший английский юмор и культурная специфика, интересные неспешные сюжеты, главный герой  с остротой Остапа Бендера и умом сумасшедшего учёного.

В этот раз Питер расследует дело о подозрительных смертях джаззовых музыкантов, и обращается за помощью к своему отцу - бывшему знаменитому джаззисту, и Лесли, своей бывшей партнёрше, чьё лицо было буквально разрушено волшебством в предыдущей книге.

Прекрасно описан дух Сохо, где в основном всё и происходит, краля Питера с сумасшедшими рассветами на крышах и нешибкой любовью к сладкому, хитрые интервью, убийства и старые, оставшиеся нераскрытыми, дела. Видно, кто-то пытается замести следы...

Читайте, если нравятся главные герои мужчины в городском фэнтэзи, британский юмор и неспешная история!

Цитаты (см.выше)

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