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Whispers Under Ground (Rivers of London 3) Hardcover – 21 Jun 2012

397 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; 1st edition (21 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575097647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575097643
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 3.7 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (397 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,066 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


Whispers Under Ground is something to get excited about. The prose is witty, the plot clever and the characters incredibly likeable, while the colourful accounts of London's various boroughs will instill a sense of pride in anyone who lives there. A thrilling read that will have you checking corners of London when you're out, to see what may be lurking about. (Danielle Goldstein Time Out)

Whether you are a lover of intelligent fantasy in a modern urban setting, British crime writing, or the history of London, this book, and its predecessors, will hold something for you, and will most likely keep you gripped from first page to last. (Book Zone's Big Brother)

Book Description

A gripping new outing for PC Grant in the Top 10 SUNDAY TIMES-bestselling series from Ben Aaronovitch.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I seem to be using the Line "Best book so far" in a few reviews recently, and when writing this review stopped to consider why, It didn't take long. Why would the latest book not be the best yet. Like all jobs you improve your skill with each year. With the job or writing I think that more and more with authors this is the case. There are very few authors that get so big they can just get complacent and churn out the next book by rote, they need to stress, to struggle to throw much of themselves into the art they love and we the reader benefit, from each improvement they make.

So that said: Whispers Underground...best book in the series so far? Yes very much so.

Ben Aaronovitch seems capable of pulling together Fact, fiction, myth, magic with a sprinkle of horror and a huge dollop of comedy so damn well its ridiculous. Since Rivers of London I have awaited each book with eager anticipation, because of the dry british comedy, the sometimes perverse sense of humour and the fast fast pace of the books delivery. His characters are so easy to relate to you can even find sympathy for the bad guy (see Rivers of London). But mainly you can become part of the story because it all seems so natural so like something you may do or feel yourself, you can easily see how it all might happen (which is a bit nuts when talking about magic and the supernatural) and yet the writing quality is such you just accept it and believe it.
Its authors like Ben that make Fantasy worth reading.

Very very Highly recommended. (one of my favourite books this year)


Description (From back of book)
Peter Grant is learning magic fast.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE on 23 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
It's three months after MOON OVER SOHO. Peter Grant is still working for ECD9 and learning magic and now he has the company of fellow apprentice Lesley May, who's still recovering from the events in RIVERS OF LONDON and wears a mask to hide her ruined face. When a young man is stabbed to death at Baker Street station, Peter's called to evaluate the scene for magical involvement and gets a big hit of vestigia. But this investigation isn't going to be an easy one. The victim's the son of a US senator, which means that FBI agent Kimberley Reynolds is shadowing the case and her religious beliefs mean that she's not in the mood to hear talk about magic.

Peter's investigation will take him into the tunnels beneath London and deep into London's past as he discovers forgotten crafts, forgotten people and vengeful ghosts ...

The third in Ben Aaronovitch's PETER GRANT SERIES is another fast-paced, witty book with plenty of action and a twisting mystery. I was a little disappointed that it didn't significantly move on the Little Crocodiles storyline, but this does work as a standalone and I was pleased to see Lesley get more page time.

Peter is developing much more as a character. I liked the way Aaronovitch shows his flaws, particularly in his relationship with Lesley because he can't get over his feelings of shock when he sees her uncovered face - equally great is the fact that he gets called on it. Lesley remains my favourite character because she's a woman who just tries to get on with things but she's also trying to come to terms with what happened to her. Nightingale barely features in this book and the Little Crocodile storyline is barely advanced, which I thought was a shame although there's plenty going on in the main plot to keep me entertained.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reader on 19 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have little to add on the subject of the writing that hasn't already been said here - the Rivers of London series is excellently conceived and superbly written, with a very believable narrative voice.

However, my copy of the book was massively let down by the quality of editing. There are so many spelling and punctuation mistakes (with at least one very obvious cut-and-paste error), it looks as if it has never been given the lightest proofread. The most charitable interpretation I can put on it is that the final manuscript was running over deadline and so there was no time to run it past Orion Books's proofreaders. I really hope that 'Whispers Under Ground' sells enough copies to necessitate a second print run, and that this time the publishers run it past a competent copy-editor, because there are actually enough proofing errors to interfere with the reading process.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Big Book Little Book on 21 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Karen for Big book Little Book.
Copy received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is very much a grown up urban fantasy series where Peter Grant is our protagonist and often very amusingly, rather cynical narrator. He's a policeman based in London, about to be consigned to a data entry post as far too easily distracted for real police work. Just as he's about to resign himself to his fate he finds that he has an aptitude for sensing the supernatural. He quickly finds out that London is home to ghosts, gods, wizards and so on and it's up to the police to make sure that they toe the line. Any cases with a supernatural element are passed to Detective Chief Inspector Nightingale with the proviso that it stays hidden from the general public's knowledge and preferably, separate from their normal police investigations. Nightingale, a wizard in his own right takes on Peter as his apprentice.

In this book (the third in the series), Peter is asked to assist in a murder investigation, the victim being an American with a father influential enough to warrant the FBI being involved. The setting for the investigation is centred around the underground tunnels and the stinking sewers of London.
The pace of this book once it gets going, is fast and action packed. Yet again Aaronovitch's classic British humour is superb. He also has the ability to make you snort with amusement one minute and then feel uneasy the next when the scene suddenly turns sinister.

Inspector Seawoll is back leading the task force and any hopes that his own recent brush with magic will have endeared him to Nightingale's department and Peter in particular, are cruelly but nevertheless amusingly, dashed.
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