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Whispers Under Ground (Rivers of London 3) [Hardcover]

Ben Aaronovitch
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Jun 2012 Rivers of London 3

Doctor Who Screenwriter Ben Aaronovitch's superbly entertaining supernatural crime series has, with its witty one-liners and wonderfully erudite take on London, won a legion of fans in double quick time.

Peter Grant is learning magic fast. And its just as well - he's already had run ins with the deadly supernatural children of the Thames and a terrifying killer in Soho. Progression in the Police Force is less easy. Especially when you work in a department of two. A department that doesn't even officially exist. A department that if you did describe it to most people would get you laughed at. And then there's his love life. The last person he fell for ended up seriously dead. It wasn't his fault, but still.

Now something horrible is happening in the labyrinth of tunnels that make up the tube system that honeycombs the ancient foundations of London. And delays on the Northern line is the very least of it. Time to call in the Met's Economic and Specialist Crime Unit 9, aka 'The Folly'. Time to call in PC Peter Grant, Britains Last Wizard.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; 1st edition (21 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575097647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575097643
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 14 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,332 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 2012-07-05)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
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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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book of the series so far 21 Jun 2012
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent
I'm happy to have found a series of books I love; it has been a while. Now I can't wait to read the next in the series... Broken Homes.
Published 5 days ago by Elle Natural
3.0 out of 5 stars PC Grant's least thrilling adventure
Some great moments and a thrilling set piece toward the end but not quite as engaging as the previous two stories. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Jamie R D Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange but satisfying
Good pace interesting characters in a well known setting .
The police could use a little magic and the humour in these stories . Read more
Published 11 days ago by wheddo
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful
Whether you know London or not, you'll love this series of books by Ben Aaronovitch, who writes well, and with a wry sense of humour. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Alex Brunel
5.0 out of 5 stars good fun
bit crazy at times but a a good fun romp about magical London. I've enjoyed the full series so far.
Published 29 days ago by Mr. R. J. L. Snow
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay Book
Not as good as the previous books of the series, certainly not close to the first volume. I think it's running out of steam or rushing the books a bit. A shame. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rafael Zac
5.0 out of 5 stars Whispers underground
I thoroughly enjoyed this read, it is different and quirky and led me to want to read the others by the same author in the series.
Published 1 month ago by Melinda
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique voice in modern fantasy
I read this first in hardback when it came out and I wasn't as enamoured with it as Moon Over Soho, or The Jazz Vampires as we call in my house! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ben H
4.0 out of 5 stars On the tracks
This is my manor. Love the incidental commentary on London and it's architecture. Especially as it includes a scene beneath Ackand Burghley.
Published 1 month ago by J M McGowan
3.0 out of 5 stars Whispers Under Ground
I've read the other books in this series and so went on to this one. While I did read it through quite quickly (I do start a lot of books that I just can't be bothered to finish) I... Read more
Published 2 months ago by frank senior
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