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Moon Over Soho: 2 (Rivers of London 2) [Paperback]

Ben Aaronovitch
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (323 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Oct 2011 Rivers of London 2 (Book 2)

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.

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Moon Over Soho: 2 (Rivers of London 2) + Whispers Under Ground (Rivers of London 3) + Rivers of London: 1
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (13 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575097620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575097629
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (323 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,471 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.

Product Description


"A terrific follow-up to [Aaronovitch's] novel "Midnight Riot", the debut of Peter Grant and his own weird London. Grant continues to learn the ropes of magical London, a process that takes him on a trip through Nightingale's haunted past and into some of the most interesting places you won't find on any official tour. Aaronovitch makes the story sing, building momentum until the ending is literally breathless." --SF Revu"A realistic modern-day police procedural populated by increasingly solid characters and written in the same consistently witty style as the first Peter Grant novel ["Midnight Riot"]. . . . One of the most entertaining books I've read in a long time." --Fantasy Literature

Book Description

Peter Grant is not just a lowly Detective Constable, he's also apprenticed to the last wizard in Britain: policing will never be the same again!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh yes, this is wonderful 7 Jun 2011
Wonderful. Literally wonderful, in the sense that it is full of wonders.

At my age (72) it is increasingly hard to find novels that I actually want to read, and even harder to find novels which I don't give up on after perhaps 50 pages. But this one works all right.

Provided, of course, you know what to expect, and like what you are led to expect. For this is one of those cross-genre books. It's part police-procedural, part fantasy (since it's about magic, and we don't believe in magic, do we? Oh, really?), and part literary; the latter because, for a police constable of modest background and educational attainments, our hero is remarkably erudite. Oh, and there's a wide streak of humour running all the way through it -- humour of that black kind which police officers, A&E doctors, and ambulance men, develop into order to protect themselves from the horrible things they have to deal with.

Fortunately, this is number two in a series, so you can go back and start with number one before getting stuck into this one. And the only thing wrong with a series such as this is that the fact that, as my dear old Mum used to say, they don't write them fast enough.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great follow up 14 May 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In this speedy and welcome follow up to Rivers of London there is a new problem for our hero copper, PC Peter Grant, to investigate. Being an apprentice wizard in a Police department of two ain't easy.
Here the problem appears to be Jazz Vampires and the only expert that may be able to help is Peter's Dad. As always the problem is a little more complex then that, and this is a welcome follow up to Rivers of London. It does not have the originality of Rivers, but it is still a great page turner with a real feel of London and a light and engaging touch.
Very enjoyable indeed and will further enhance the author's well earned reputation.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun and a cracking series 12 April 2011
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
The second book by Ben to feature his Paranormal Wizard Apprentice Copper, Peter Grant, who this time is thrust into a case that may be too close to home for comfort. As with the original, the sheer scope of this book is amazing, the characters are refreshingly believable and when you add into it quirky twists on already familiar area's of London which will leave the readers clamouring for more.

The prose is light and manageable, the characters outstanding and all in the overall arc is one that will lead the readers to demanding a new title sooner rather than later as Peter and Nightingales own Sith seem to be emerging from the background. All in, this book has been very cleverly done which when added to a wonderful reading experience made this a title that was very hard to put down. If there's only one new author you try this year in the Urban Fantasy genre, make it Aaronovitch, the skills and pace will leave you wondering exactly what spell he's woven within these pages.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great sequel (not so much a standalone) 12 May 2011
If you'll remember from the first volume, Detective Constable Peter Grant is part of the Metropolitan Police's "Economic and Specialist Crime Unit". It consists of two people - Grant and his mentor, DCI Nightingale. Nightingale is much older than he appears and infinitely more knowledgable: he's a wizard. Grant, due to a combination of inclination and misfortune, is also a wizard - at least, he's trying really hard at it.

In the first volume, Grant is wrapped up in a fairly horrific little mystery that involves dark magic and people's faces falling in. The second volume starts with the same promise: someone out there is doing something nasty (and magical). Grant needs to solve it. This time around it is also more personal. The naughty-maker is offing jazz musicians, and Grant's dad is one of the best in the business. Although he's always been wary of it, Grant finds himself easily absorbed into the jazz scene. He finds friends (and ladyfriends) and indulges himself in a little second-hand fame due to his father's reputation. These new contacts prove valuable when it comes to snooping about in the dark and spicy Soho underworld.

Just to keep things interesting, there's also something out there eating people's anatomy. Eep.

The balance here is between plot and meta-plot. One of the cases above is a fairly transparent whodunnit. I'm not the savviest mystery reader, but I found absolutely no mystery in whoactuallyddunnit. The only detection was trying to suss if Grant was being particularly thick or if he actually knew all along and was stringing us along for extra overtime pay. This case is the book's self-contained plot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Book One in this series introduced some interesting characters and a well-developed premise of a magical branch of the London police. It wasn't perfect, but I really enjoyed it and looked forward to reading the sequel. I was hoping that with the introductions out of the way, the plot would be able to take off and this second instalment might be even better.

On the whole, I think it had the same strengths and weaknesses as the first book.

The positives were a clever and internally consistent system of magic, an engaging and fully fleshed out hero and well-developed supporting characters, and a dry and very British humour reminiscent of early Terry Pratchett.

What worked less well for me, in both the first book but perhaps more so in this instalment, was the plot, which felt very convoluted and just didn't quite seem to hang together quite right. There are hints of a deeper underlying plot arc, but for the moment, it still feels quite episodic. In the case of this book, I also found a new character - half love interest, half potential suspect - significantly less compelling than most of the cast. I found the hero's reactions to her unrealistic, and it almost dulled my adoration of him.

Overall then, I'm still enjoying the series and will definitely read the next one at some point, but I'm finding myself frustrated with the way it's not quite living up to its initial promise or to some of the flashes of brilliance sprinkled through the plot. I was torn between 3 stars or 4, and have erred on the side of generosity, possibly swayed by the introduction of an evil wizard tutor at Magdalen, my old Oxford college!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Gripping tale
Published 2 days ago by Linda Durman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed this book. Looking forward to the next. I love the humour and wit of the author.
Published 4 days ago by julez Had
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant book
Published 10 days ago by valerie wozniak
5.0 out of 5 stars great fun
Just the right amount of dark humour, horror, cynicism & swearing to make this an utter joy of a book. I look forward to the rest of the series
Published 12 days ago by A. Bradshaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good urban fantasy
This is a very good follow on the Rivers of London, and i enjoyed reading it a great deal. More time is spent establishing the rules of the world and how magic actually works in... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Matt
5.0 out of 5 stars yes! it's good
It was for me really enjoyable but then my tastes are like that, give it a go I am sure you will not be disappointed.
Published 13 days ago by Mr. C. T. Astrand
4.0 out of 5 stars Magic and Mystery
Very enjoyable. A grown up and well written book of magic and mystery
Published 15 days ago by goldie
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my kind of fun. Lovely characters
This is my kind of fun. Lovely characters, science fiction history drama and a wicked spence of humor , and witty too! When is the 5th coming out?
Published 17 days ago by Ms. C. Palmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book.
Good book arrived quickly.
Published 19 days ago by Sahalie38
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it, but read Rivers of London first
Fantastic follow on to Rivers of London and great to hear they're making a TV series from the books. Probably won't be as good as the book though.
Published 21 days ago by BillyBeatnik
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