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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its authors like Ben that make Fantasy worth reading
Review:
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...
Published on 25 Jun. 2012 by Parm

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Another good PC Grant book, anti-climatic ending
This was another good PC Grant book, what I like about them is they're inventive and never predictable. Moon Over Soho was more exciting , Whispers Under Ground is more about clues and exploration. Personally I found the final chapters of the book a bit of a let down. I thought the book was building up to a big action set piece, it wasn't.

Like the two previous...
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its authors like Ben that make Fantasy worth reading, 25 Jun. 2012
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Review:
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)

(Parm)

Description (From back of book)
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.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another entertaining instalment in the Peter Grant series, 23 Dec. 2012
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.

The mystery itself has plenty of twists and turns and kept me guessing from beginning to end and I enjoyed the way that it brings Peter into contact with Tyburn and her agenda once more. Aaronovitch does a great job at building up the world in which his characters operate and it really widens the scope of the series and what he can do at it.

All in all, this is a thoroughly enjoyably instalment in the series and I'm really looking forward to reading the next one.
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43 of 49 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.

It's great to see that Lesley's presence in this book is much stronger as she joins the team, thanks to her recent disclosure in 'Moon under Soho'. It's also interesting to see how she is developing as a character now that her once beautiful face is now so horribly disfigured. It would have been so easy to just 'magic' her back to normal. Instead we see her continue to be the technically brilliant police officer that she is whilst she and Peter cope with her new found visual disfigurement.

Verdict : Murder, genius loci, magic and humour all in one book. Aaronivitch has done it again with 'Whispers Underground' and is my favourite book of the series so far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Under the city in the snow, 26 Oct. 2014
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Third volume in the DC Peter Grant series, an urban fantasy/police procedural series of books about a man who works for a special section of the Metropolitan Police who deal with the seriously weird.

This series has built up a bit of backstory by now, so new readers might struggle a little to get into this. They should start with the first book Rivers of London: 1 instead.

Regulars readers of the series, read on.

This volume runs for four hundred and eighteen pages. It's divided into nine parts, and twenty nine chapters.

There is some violence, and some strong language.

The main thrust of the story sees Peter involved in the investigation of a murder, the body having been found on the tracks at Baker Street tube station. Magic appears to have been involved.

In the meantime, a character from an earlier book returns. The folly now has another resident, thanks to the events at the very end of book two. The hunt for the faceless man goes on. An FBI agent is getting involved. And the snow is coming down...

It's the mixture as before. And if you enjoyed the first two books, then you will not be disappointed. The new dynamic at the Folly works very well. There's some very nice descriptive writing at times. And the focus is almost solely on the main plotline, although the hunt for the Faceless Man does get a look in. And develops very nicely.

One lingering question is also indirectly answered.

Also as with earlier books, there may be times when it doesn't feel as if much is happening, but everything does move along very nicely, keeping the main plot and everything else going well.

You will learn a few things about the city from this.

Ending with an interesting final scene, it's another enjoyable read in a very enjoyable series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whispers Underground, 14 Oct. 2013
Whispers Underground marks the third outing for Peter Grant and the Detective Constable/Apprentice Wizard is once again up to his neck in it - literally in the sense that he spends a lot of time in the sewers and, metaphorically, because life as a crime fighter is never straightforward.

DC Grant's Christmas season begins with a ghost hunt in a train tunnel with his precocious cousin and pretty much involves odd happenings in confined spaces from then on. His "specialist skills" are called upon by the Murder Squad when an American student [and son of a state senator] named James Gallagher is found stabbed to death on the tracks at Baker Street tube. Grant discovers a shard of pottery near the scene and the associated vestigia [a kind of magical watermark if you will] quickly confirms the involvement of the non-normal. DC Grant and PC Lesley May (covertly and under the supervision of Detective Inspector Stephanopoulos and Detective Chief Inspector Seawoll, the latter still having not quite forgiven Grant for the incident at the opera house) must then use all of their magical nouse to track down the killer, avoid an international incident and discover the source of the peculiar whispers and noises to be heard in the Underground.

Whispers Underground is another intriguing mystery for Peter Grant to solve. The murder of James Gallagher leads him to encounter some new elements of the magical criminal underworld and also to encounter some new creatures altogether. While the central villain may not be so gruesome or so menacing as the faceless man, the danger that Grant faces is once again very real and the logic behind the whole thing initially rather perplexing. The expansion of the magical London that is presented in Whispers Underground is very interesting and is a sign that there are a lot more mysteries waiting for Grant in the city. In addition to the Gallagher murder, some headway is made with pre-existing threats and lurking baddies and this serves to whet the reader's appetite for future books.

Saying that, Whispers Underground doesn't quite live up to Aaronovitch's two previous novels. A lot of references are made in the book to DC Grant doing some "proper policing" and there is indeed a noticeable absence of magic. There certainly are magical or at the very least non-standard elements to the story but Grant tackles the murder investigation in a way very much in-keeping with regular police procedurals. While Grant's contacts in the paranormal world help with the investigation, having an apprentice wizard on the squad doesn't bring quite so many benefits as usual. Part of the fun and innovation of this series is the way that Grant uses magic in his investigations and so it would have been nice for that magic to serve a more central purpose here.

Linked in to this limited use of magic is the noticeable absence, compared to the previous novels, of Inspector Nightingale. He's absent for the majority of the book, either off investigating the Little Crocodiles or else generally out of things. The sometimes amusingly fraught relationship between Nightingale and Grant has previously been one of the most entertaining elements of the books so hopefully they'll be back as dynamic [and potentially dapperly dressed] duo in the next book. Similarly, Molly didn't play much of a role this time round other than to make sandwiches and exercise her phenomenal laundry skills.

DC Grant wasn't totally out on his own during the Whispers Underground investigation though. His partner/love interest PC Lesley May is well on the road to recovery [although her face is still barely hanging on] and is showing greater commitment to magical learning than Grant. They are a likeable double-act and the banter between them is often very funny. It'll be interesting to see how Lesley's magical detective career develops since she currently has a lot more respect among the "normals" than Grant does and also how Aaronovitch intends to have her handle her horrific injuries in the long-term.

A number of new allies arrive for DC Grant during Whispers Underground. Since the recently deceased James Gallagher was an American citizen, FBI Special Agent Reynolds has been dispatched to assist with the investigation and, despite the Met's attempts to keep her out of the loop and under control, she does make a valuable contribution to tracking down the guilty party. She also rustles up the best sewer exploring outfit. The other main new face is British Transport Police officer Jaget Kumar, whose knowledge of the Underground and the best spelunking techniques proves invaluable. He's also not too surprised by the supernatural elements of the case. While Special Agent Reynolds seems unlikely to be making the trip across the Atlantic again, bets are that Kumar will prove just as useful in future investigations.

Whispers Underground is an intriguing and exciting murder mystery. While not the most fantastical of urban fantasies, it does still contain many of Ben Aaronovitch's signature additions to the paranormal crime-fighting genre. The central mystery is strong and well-plotted, with the danger and intrigue being matched by the humour and warmth that Aaronovitch delivers through his characters. Peter Grant is a great hero and following his adventures offers excellent escapism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Hilarious, 26 Mar. 2013
By 
Liz Wilkins "Lizzy11268" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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I actually have the hardback version of this novel but for some strange (and supernatural?) reason, Amazon is saying the hardback has not been released even though it was despatched back in 2012 (by Amazon!), therefore unavailable for review. So, well, I'm just going to assume that the paperback is not some completely different story from another universe, and review this edition. Firstly I will assume that if you are reading this review you have already read the magnificent "Rivers of London" and "Moon over Soho". No? Why are you here then? Off you go, read them, you are in for a treat! When you come back I can tell you - "Whispers Underground", the third instalment in the adventures of Peter Grant, does not disappoint and is up too, if not superior too, the standards of the previous adventures. Peter gets himself mixed up in all sorts of magical mayhem whilst investigating the death of a US Senator's son - and he has a hotshot FBI agent on his trail to boot. Back as well are the superb supporting cast - the magnificent Lesley, still coming to terms with the trauma she suffered in "Rivers" and now learning all about the magical world alongside Peter, and of course Nightingale, a man of many talents, not least of which is severe eye rolling at the often madly conceived plans of the aforesaid Peter Grant. The various Rivers make an appearance as does our Dr of all things weird and wonderful Walid. We also have several new and exciting characters, I won't discuss them - you must meet them as new, although I will give a passing mention to Abigail, who it seems is going to have a lot more to get her teeth into in future. As usual, this is witty and clever - Mr Aaronovitch has a great style of storytelling, it sucks you in and spits you out feeling satisfied and filled with the joy of life. "Holy Paranormal Activity Nightingale, to the Jag mobile!" had me giggling like a schoolgirl, not least because it brought back memories of many jokes made over the years at the expense of the caped crusader. Don't get me wrong - it has its dark side, which tempered with the humour, makes this another tremendous read in what I hope will become an extremely long running series. The next one I hear you ask? "Broken Homes" June 2013. I, for one, can't wait.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just as good, 16 Feb. 2013
By 
Syriat - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Whispers Underground is the third book in the Peter Grant series and is as good as the previous two. You can't really read this without having read the other two first though.
In this one apprentice wizard/police officer Grant is called in to help the murder squad when the body of the son of a US senator is found dead in the underground. The murder weapon has a magical aura so it's looking a little less than straightforward. Also running alongside the main story is the continuing search for the rogue wizard from the last books and the group of little crocodiles.

The humor, style and characters are the same as previous books. The pace is as quick as ever too. Lesley is involved far more, which is good, and there are more aspects of Londons other side revealed here. However, and this is a minor gripe, the occasional jumping of storyline that has happened previously is here too. Grant occasionally has a flash of inspiration and this is explained pages later. You feel kind of left out of the intervening pages on occasion. However, this is as fun to read as the previous books and not quite so difficult to keep up with the narrative at times.

This series is being quite addictive and the addition of a storyline strand that goes through all the books is a good one. If you liked the other two books then this one is just as good and you will enjoy it. If this is your first book of the series then you are best advised to start at the beginning, Rivers of London, to get the most out of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the bunch to-date..., 24 Jun. 2012
By 
Emmster (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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For me, this book (the 3rd in the series to-date) was a much more measured piece of writing than its predecessors. All the regular characters from the previous two instalments are present and fulfil their expected roles in Mr Aaronovitch's magically charged London. Unsurprisingly, the book continues to be written in the first person from the perspective of DC Peter Grant but, unlike the previous books, this one was a bit more crime-novel and a bit less policeman-harry-potter (I hope that makes sense).

The plot is a more magically-subdued murder mystery, in contrast to the previous instalments which, for me, were literary (and thaumaturgical) roller-coaster rides. Don't get me wrong, this is a great book, it has both pace and grip - and I enjoyed it immensely (I read it in about 3 sittings), but now that the core characters are established and the magic is less of a surprise (more an expectation), I found the slightly more down-to-earth plot both excellently constructed and a good way to move the series along.

Peter Grant shows the detective within himself more than the magician. He's beginning to use spells more as tools of an unusual trade rather than for their own sake. He also matures significantly as a character and policeman as the book progresses - leading to the point where he's really in control, and drives the story through his own thoughts and actions.

It was good to see the character of Lesley incorporated into a new setup and not simply discarded after Moon Over Soho (Rivers of London 2)

All in all, I thought it was a really well-executed novel: pacey, gripping and a bit more substance now that the previous material has established a setting and character-list.

If you've not read the first two books - you'd be better off reading them: Rivers of London (Rivers of London 1), Moon Over Soho (Rivers of London 2) first. If you've read and enjoyed them already - what are you waiting for! it's more of the same!

I'm already looking forward to instalment number four.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This series is Awsome!, 1 July 2013
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Just as good as the first, possibly better as we know the characters so well from the first. This is the best series I have read in a long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Peter Grant series just gets better and better., 22 Feb. 2013
By 
I have now read the first three in what I hope will be a much longer series of Peter Grant novels. The storyline is original and the characters engaging and well-rounded. Ben Aaronovitch's knowledge of London - reflected through Grant's character - is in itself educational and entertaining.
Already Aaronovitch has developed sub-plots that can be extended upon in future novels. Also, the increasing skill level of Grant's magic plus the inclusion of Lesley into the circle of magical practitioners, makes for intriguing future plots.
Ben Aaronovitch writes extremely well, uses a wealth of very British linguistic terms in his novels (some of which I admit to having to check the meaning of in my Kindle's dictionary - a most useful tool, I may add) and he seems to have an insider's knowledge of London Metropolitan police procedures.
All in all, a worthwhile read and I await the next instalment in the Peter Grant series, "Broken Homes", sometime in 2013.
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