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Midnight Riot (Peter Grant) MP3 CD – Audiobook, 28 Sep 2012

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media Inc; MP3 Una edition (28 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452660077
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452660073
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 18.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ben Aaronovitch was born in 1964. Discovering in his early twenties that he had precisely one talent, he took up screenwriting at which he was an overnight success. He wrote for Doctor Who, Casualty and the world's cheapest ever SF soap opera Jupiter Moon. He then wrote for Virgin's New Adventures until they pulped all his books.

Then Ben entered a dark time illuminated only by an episode of Dark Knight, a book for Big Finish and the highly acclaimed but not-very-well-paying Blake's 7 Audio dramas.

Trapped in a cycle of disappointment and despair Ben was eventually forced to support his expensive book habit by working for Waterstones as a bookseller. Ironically it was while shelving the works of others that Ben finally saw the light. He would write his own books, he would let prose into his heart and rejoice in the word. Henceforth, subsisting on nothing more than instant coffee and Japanese takeaway, Ben embarked on the epic personal journey that was to lead to Rivers of London (or Midnight Riot as it is known in the Americas).

Ben Aaronovitch currently resides in London and says that he will leave when they pry his city from his cold dead fingers.

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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By John Middleton on 14 Mar. 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Masculine Urban Fantasy
Not a lot of "urban fantasy" is masculine these days - only Glen Cook's Garrett PI and Jim Butcher's Dresden Files fit the bill, at least for some definitions of UF. This is more police procedural with magic than soft porn bodice-ripper with vampires/werewolves/demons/etc: I say that not to throw stones at anyone's favourite genre, just to make the point clear. There is no sex, brief nudity, and while blood is drunk, its not really romantic and nor is it drunk by a vampire.

So...what is it about? Well, imagine being a young mixed-race copper in London, about to get posted to a dull dead end existance shuffling paper, while your glamourous almost-girlfriend gets a plum posting...and then a ghost gives you a tip-off and you discover a whole new world. This is a London of spirits and ghosts, groaning under the weight of history and geography. And someone is commiting murder by magical possession.

The London here is as much a character as setting, with the various rivers and streams all having human forms (the UK edition is called Rivers of London, the US Midnight Riot - both are appropriate for different reasons). Its very British, and a long love letter to London.

Most of all though there is an intriguing crime story which happens to involve ghosts, and the odd realistic tangent of dealing with a nest of vampires or settling scores between Father Thames and Mother Thames. Aaronovitch has written an story which runs along as a good pace, and you really don't want to put down.

The sequel, Moon over Soho, is out now, and the next volume, Whispers Under Ground, is out later this year. If they are as good as this, then there is a lot to look forward to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. H. Dye on 16 Oct. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Reading this as an e-book was enough to convince me that I needed to own it in a form that doesn't need batteries. Mind you, I got the audiobook too, and it was equally glorious.
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By I. Anderson on 1 Aug. 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
excellent thanks
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 229 reviews
64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
London starring. 13 Feb. 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Rivers of London is the long-awaited original series from popular TV and tie-in writer Ben Aaronovitch. A darkly comedic police procedural, Rivers is a deliciously more-ish book that is nearly impossible to put down.

The book (and presumably, the forthcoming series) features Peter Grant, a somewhat mediocre police officer who suddenly discovers that he's, well, magical. Or at least, suddenly aware of the magical. Young Grant was on the fast track to a bureaucratic desk job, but now his life is much, much more interesting. Grant is poached for duty by Chief Inspector Nightingale, the Met's divisional head (and the entire division) for Creepy Magical Stuff.

It all happens just in time. The Rivers of London, at least, their magical embodiments, are having a turf war - it is in the pushing and shoving phase, but still, if it goes wrong, the city will be in bad shape. Grant is also juggling a second supernatural case - a nasty serial-killer of a poltergeist is beating people to death and making their faces fall off.

The Occult Detective has transformed into a recognisable genre stereotype. The 'O.D.' generally has a supernatural knack but, more commonly, solves problems through fast talking, "people skills" and general cunning. He's a bit of an outsider, something exacerbated by the fact that he Knows stuff that The Rest of Us don't. He's the tarnished knight type - cynical due to the problems in his own past. And 98% percent of the time? He wears a long coat.

Peter Grant (and CDI Nightingale) are the most recent branches of the motley family tree that includes Felix Castor, Harry Dresden, Johns Taylor, Constantine and Silence, and even, arguably, Doctor Who. All slightly-detached, urbane fellows with an outsider complex, floor-length coats and a knack of spotting solutions from a Lovecraftian angle. If Peter Grant bucks the trend, it is only because he still wears his patrolman's uniform.

If anything, Grant is a little too much of an outsider. He blithely strolls through the book with a clinical detachment that borders on the unflappable - even when he's caught on fire or, you know, someone's face falls off. Part of it is Mr. Aaronovitch's humorously objective writing style - but there are still points where I wanted to check the lead for a pulse. Like Constantine or Castor, Grant needs the occasional smack to remind him that he's still part of the human race - but unlike those two, it isn't rooted in cynicism, more an airy casual acceptance of events that is, at times, even more alien.

Where Mr. Aaronovitch separates his work from the trench-coated crowd is with his depiction of London. I'm a PROUD LONDONER (e.g. I moved here ten years ago, still cheer for foreign sports teams and will inevitably move to the suburbs as soon as I save up the money) and was wildly pleased to see proper descriptions of MY city.

Physically, emotionally and historically, Mr. Aaronovitch captures the unglamorous essence of urban London life. From stumbling over drunks to sweating on the tube, the informative plaques on every paving stone and the insane difficulty of Central London driving... this is the city in all of its banal glory. John Constantine and Felix Castor wander through Londons soaked through with mysticism - Peter Grant patrols streets with lined with CCTV and German tourists. Grant's detachment helps convey his (and, clearly, Mr. Aaronovitch's) love/hate relationship with the city as well. It is insane, clunky and messy, but who could possibly imagine living anywhere else?

Peter Grant is a late, and welcome, addition to a long line of irritable, sartorially-questionable saviours. If the he doesn't seem to be taking things too seriously... and the entire narrative style is a bit tongue in cheek... and the setting is a bit grittier than expected... that all sums up to an entertaining atmosphere that keeps the pages turning. There may be not a lot of thriller-style tension, but there is a lot of action, all excellently orchestrated in the streets and streams of London.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
A different London, a different underworld 22 Feb. 2012
By H Waterhouse - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Peter Grant is a London police officer going on with his ordinary life. He has a washed-up jazz artist father, a complicated African mother, and a female best friend and lust object. He is also curious and highly distractible. I found this a sympathetic character trait. On a night much like any other, he is standing around at a crime scene when a ghost tells him about the murder most foul, as ghosts are wont to do. His life gets a lot more complicated all of a sudden, what with a smelly ghost-finding dog, a strangely ageless magical mentor, and an assignment to the X Files of the London constabulary.

I bought this book because the publishers made a questionable decision about the cover. There has been some awareness on the parts of the internet that I frequent that publishers targeting American audiences "whitewash" their covers. The most famous example that I can think of was Justine Larbalestier's Liar, which is about a biracial protaganist. The original proposed cover showed a white girl. The publisher was convinced to change the cover, but it took some doing. There are pictures of the original and modified covers of the Aaronovitch books at Neth Space. In researching the whitewashing, I thought the book sounded interesting, and bought the first one. 26 hours and some lost sleep later, I bought the second one. One of the blurbs said it was like "Harry Potter meets CSI". I thought it was more like "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality meet Sherlock".

I liked Midnight Riot for many of the same reasons I liked Laura Bickle's Embers: the sense of place and space is palpable. Bickle's protaganist, Anya, lives in the current Detroit, a once-great city suffering through very hard times. Her details about empty blocks, shuttered buildings, and potholed roads give a good grounding to the otherworldliness of the action. Similarly, Aaronovitch's London is not an idealized London, or a sketchily detailed Major City. If this book were a TV show, it would be hard to film in Vancouver, because it is so very much about place, and neighborhood, and history. This is the London I catch glimpses of from the BBC, full of kebab stands and chavs and trainers and sewers and public transit. I think this would be a difficult book to read if you did not have that ability, beloved of scifi and fantasy readers, to just accept that you don't know all the words and probably you'll get them from context.

Peter Grant knows the city as a beat cop. He identifies everywhere he goes on a sliding scale of how many drunks he has rousted and fights he has broken up. Places can be historic, or architectural, but he is always evaluating them first in terms of public safety. Even when he is having a mind-blowing tryst with a new lover, he notes the fire escapes and weak points of the flat. He walks into rooms and scans them for threats, he is always aware of his surroundings with the police part of his brain.

He is also always aware of his surroundings in a racial way. It's not like he's a seething ball of biracial resentment, he just notices that he moves through a racial society. When he has had a rough day and is taking the Tube home, he watches people try to evaluate whether he seems more or less threatening than the homeless man. When he agrees to apprentice to a magical trainer, he refuses to address him as "Master", because while it might be traditional, he can't help hearing it as "Massa", and he will not do it. It reminded me, in a way, of walking around as a woman, and the thousand calculations that I make and almost don't notice I'm making them, thinking about keeping an eye on strangers who get into my personal space, and who to sit next to on the train, and how vulnerable I look when I'm walking, and where I could head for if I needed help. I am by no means a woman nervous of the big city, nor do I think I'm afraid, and I may not even be alert, but I am aware. Midnight Riot made me think about how that awareness might look on a different axis.

The language delighted me. There were little poem fragments scattered all through it, not as actual quotations, but as the sort of side reference-in joke that pop culture ends up being transmitted as. For example, there is a flip reference to "some corner which forever", in reference to the Rupert Brooke poem, The Soldier. Also, his ghost/magic sensitive dog is of the little yappy variety, and he identifies magic intensity he encounters by the "milliyap", as measured by how much the dog is likely to react to it. It's not obtrusive, not Pratchett-like levels of self-aware flipness, just the kind of language play and use that my friends and I sometimes indulge in.

I thought the plot was not astonishing. This is not a book you read for the tight, mechanical, magical interlocking plot points. It loafs along with the easy inevitability of Agatha Christie mystery. A bad person does something wrong, and our hero, by application of his unique personal skills, solves it in a way that no one else could have. Grant's unique skills include magic, a passion for the scientific method, and a millenial's facility with technology. Oh, and a hummingbird-like distractability. He is no respecter of tradition, which makes his mentor more than a little irritated, but his wildcat style works for him.

The plot is not the story's heart, though. The actual passion of the story is split between the setting, both real and mystical, of London, and the character development of a nice-enough guy who is trying to figure out how to be the best copper he can be. The setting is rich and surprising and charming. The guy is not at all rich, but somewhat surprising and quite charming. And the story has that sort of roll and rhythm that makes you keep telling yourself "just one more chapter".

Read if: you like police procedurals, the Lord Darcy books, urban fantasy about actual places, and drawing maps in your head.
Skip if: you don't like first-person narrators, or mystery stories. You would rather not read about gritty London as seen through the eyes of a police constable old enough to be cynical.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Completely enjoyable new paranormal series 20 Jan. 2011
By Justin G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In Midnight Riot, the debut novel by Ben Aaronovitch, Peter Grant is a "copper," a newly-minted London bobby who's just not that good at it. His career seems headed for the paperwork brigade until, when investigating a strange murder, he gets a tip from a bizarre informant - a local ghost. Grant is soon noticed by Thomas Nightingale, a one-man paranormal investigative unit in the London police department. Once you get past the obligatory "yes (young protagonist), magic is REAL" moment, Grant is apprenticed to Nightingale, who sets out to teach him about magic and how to police the various supernatural creatures that populate London, all the while trying to track down a spectral killer who is wreaking bloody havoc on a seemingly random array of innocent bystanders.

Throughout this novel I was reminded of both Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series and Neil Gaiman's American Gods: A Novel. Like Butcher, Aaronovitch's characters are vivid, unforgettable, and manage to hook you in very little time. Like American Gods, key figures of mythology factor into the story, if only in a supporting role. There's also a Bones/Law & Order vibe that makes me think this was written with a TV adaptation in mind. Aaronovitch keeps things light and humorous, even when the events are anything but, and he's got a great sense of pacing. He also sets the stage for what one hopes will be many more supernatural adventures in Peter Grant's London.

It's not without a few flaws (nothing a more thorough editing job wouldn't fix, anyway), but Midnight Riot was an absolute blast to read and was more than enough to convince me to sign on to Peter Grant's adventures for the long haul. If you're a fan of the kind of paranormal adventures Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison and Harry Connelly dish out, you'll definitely want to add Midnight Riot to your "must read" list.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A highly enjoyable addition to the supernatural genre 15 Feb. 2013
By born too late - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book at the recommendation of two other book lovers, and I'm very glad I did. Newly minted London constable Grant is a likeable if slightly irreverant but never truly foul first-person narrator. The supernatural elements are not forced, seeming to flow through the story in quite natural way so that it is quite easy to suspend disbelief and go along for the ride. In short, the book is just plain fun, although some parts get a bit gory. It's a fun read, but dark at times. If that isn't your cup of tea, you might want pass. I'd recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series.

However, some reviews have used the Harry Potter books for comparison, and that is completely wrong. The only thing in common is the presence of wizards. While both are great reads, they aren't at all the same genre. I think those reviews are terribly misleading.

I also note that some reviewers have complained about the constant references to London landmarks, but I'm not sure why they are complaining about that. It's set in London, what did you expect? I've never been to Chicago, but I can still enjoy Jim Butcher's books.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Nothing like Monty Python 26 Sept. 2013
By Anniepoo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Witty, yes, here and there, but not wacky. Imaginative and a bit fantastic, as expected, but not shockingly weird just to be zany. There is more to British culture than MP, just as there is more to US than Friends. I recently heard the first Harry Dresden book, and this was much like it, generally, but better, IMO. I got the Audible and the Kindle editions, and the Audible content was, apparently, the original British version, while the Kindle had some minor 'translations' into N.A. English, such as changing A&E into the Emergency Room, and first floor into second. Experiencing both simultaneously via Whispersync was fun. I don't really think Midnight Riot is a better title than Rivers of London, though there is a riot and it has many amusing moments. It is far more British than I have usually experienced, and I enjoyed that, the magic, the characters, the twisty plot, and the imagination. Well worth your time if it sounds interesting to you.
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