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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peter Grant goes south of the River
This book is the fourth book in a series. If you've landed here without reading Rivers of London and its two sequels, you'd best go and do that - they're all rattling good reads - before coming back to it. It's not that Broken Homes can't be read alone - there are relatively few plot points here that depend on the earlier books, though there are some - it's more that if...
Published 13 months ago by D. Harris

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Filler
Terribly disappointing compared to the other book sin the series.
Feels like the middle movie in a trilogy. Its there because it has to be to get to the endpoint.
Not one to remember, nothing much happening apart from settign things up for a much more interesting situation in the next book.
Published 7 months ago by D. J. Ketchin


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peter Grant goes south of the River, 13 Aug 2013
By 
D. Harris (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This book is the fourth book in a series. If you've landed here without reading Rivers of London and its two sequels, you'd best go and do that - they're all rattling good reads - before coming back to it. It's not that Broken Homes can't be read alone - there are relatively few plot points here that depend on the earlier books, though there are some - it's more that if you read this first you'll want to read the others, but inevitably you'll then know about stuff that is meant to come as a surprise.

That said, this is another magical adventure in which Aaronovitch's spell-using police trio - Peter, Lesley and Nightingale (which, we now learn, seems to be a title rather than a name) - assisted by Toby the dog and the enigmatic Molly, investigate a series of gruesome deaths. These seem to focus on a south London high rise estate which the local council want to demolish, but which has inexplicably been listed for preservation.

As in the previous books, much of the focus here is on "routine" policing (OK, still policing by Nightingale's special squad, and so, by definition, supernatural, but basic matters: following up leads, cross checking information, generally getting nowhere. That, and crowd-policing the river gods' annual open day...) and the interactions between Nightingale's team and the ordinary police. Some might find that material a bit slow moving, but I rather enjoy watching this, following the chat between the colleagues and guessing which points will be significant and which won't. One of the strengths of the series is that there are continuing and developing mysteries that are never fully explained - Molly's true nature, for example, and the sprawling families of river gods - so that one senses Aaronovitch building up stuff for later books. I think Aaronovitch does this very well, very convincingly - to me his series is the most credible of the various recent takes on "magical London"

Of course the story does pick up pace towards the end with some dramatic action sequences and a pretty drastic conclusion. While pretty exciting (and the conclusion does leave things wide open for the future) I didn't find this section quite as engaging as the first part. I find it interesting that some other reviews say 'it starts slow but improves when it gets moving...' I'm not sure why that is - maybe those sequences are just a little slick? Maybe the real fun in these books is the bickering between Peter, Lesley and assorted supernatural entities (which naturally gets squeezed out by all the action?)

That's why I've rated it 4 stars rather than 5 - which in my view still means it is a very good read; it's an entertaining story and indeed a book I found hard to put down. I'm looking forward to the next.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rivers of London could run and run, 29 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Broken Homes (PC Peter Grant Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
Satisfying in itself, but also feels like a chapter in a larger work.

The plot, as they say, randomises. Having gone down last time (Whispers Underground), this time Ben reaches up for London's skyline, while developing more of what we might call the story arc begun in Moon Over Soho. We're getting to the stage where we could do with a "previously on..." It's all good stuff, we learn a little more about how Ben's magic world works, get hints of a global dimension and more backstory, but with plenty of time for some satisfying in-jokes for the Bond and Doctor Who fans.

If there's a fault it's that there's not enough of it. The central conceit is genius, but although it starts with multiple mysteries, the way they all dovetail makes the world of Peter Grant seen a bit smaller and less messy than we're used to. Only a brief sojourn with the Rivers and their Spring Court reminds us of the wider world outside this one (hang a lantern on it Bond-villain type) case. And I could have stayed in Skygarden longer just soaking up the atmosphere, with some more red herrings along the way.

Having said that, the ending really ramps up the pace to a gripping climax that will leave you wanting the next volume. I'm looking forward to it already.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost..., 26 July 2013
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This review is from: Broken Homes (PC Peter Grant Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
Why almost? Because Arranovitch seems to have dropped one ball of the many he is juggling in this book. The first half was disconnected and didn't seem to flow like the previous 3 novels. It wasn't until the second half when we get to briefly see Nightingale in full flow that the pace picks up, the links start to be connected and we get more information.
We meet a new individual who could be help or hindrance, and maybe, just maybe, of interest to one of our characters. And the ending wasn't one i saw coming, though thinking back on it i really should have. But as others have said this didn't fully tie up all the plot lines in this novel as others have done, but left a wide gaping maw of a follow on for the next story.
So why the 4 stars instead of 5? EDITING!!!! Seriously, get a couple of decent proof readers to deal with the continuity errors and all the flipping typos!!!!
Other than that this is still an amazing book as all the Rivers novels are. For me they are up there with the Discworld series and that of the Emporers Edge.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love all of PC Grant novels, 7 Aug 2013
By 
AMM (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Broken Homes (PC Peter Grant Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
Loved this book, as with the others. I did find the first third of the book a bit disjointed in a couple of places - lots of minor characters brought in really early on, and I lost track of who was who and had to keep flicking back to remember. However, love Grant and Nightingale and the Zach is growing on me too. Great storyline, and boy - didn't see that twist coming. Can't wait for the next instalment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just can't get enough, 6 Aug 2013
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Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Broken Homes (PC Peter Grant Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
There is always an interesting element within the supernatural community but who's going to Police it? Well it comes down to the "Isaac's", a special branch consisting of one wizard, two trainee's and of course the brave as well as hardy Toby the Dog. Its fun, it has some moments of levity and when added to some darker elements, cracking twists alongside high octane action all round makes this a wonderful read.

Yet whilst most would think that these elements alone enough to read the book, the author has also worked in to it a set of characters that not only work well together but created a community that the reader just cannot wait to return to in future outings. All round, for me, this is one of my top UK Urban Fantasy series and will continue to be so for quite some time. I really can't wait to see what awaits around the corner for PC Grant and friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking good read -- as usual, 21 July 2014
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A cracking good read -- as usual! Quite erudite in parts but not too intellectually OTT as they're largely explained by Peter Grant. Don't know who he is? Well, read the damn' book!
This is also a bit of recognition for South London, which often comes off poorly - if at all - in many London-based books. Historically, it always has been a kind of repository for the dregs of society and the less socially acceptable trades that nevertheless the capital needed; even in my youth (OK, so it's getting to be a while ago now ... ) if Wandsworth was mentioned, you automatically thought of the brewery and the prison. Just look at it now! However, South London has always been where things happen, where life moves, ferments, sometimes spills over but is, more often than not, exciting, creative in the broadest sense with a character and feeling all its own, very different in atmosphere from what happens North of the Thames. It always has had a population of real Londoners, of all shapes, sizes, colours and creeds and all this Aaronovitch captures with his usual gusto and zest for life ... altho' even he could not be 100% enthusiastic about Croydon ...
One question, tho? Is Lesley May being written out or will she re-appear in some beguiling disguise but with near diabolical intent? If the publishers would kindly release the new book in the series, I might find out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites, 26 Feb 2014
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These books are great (dark, funny, urban-magical), why do more people not know about them? You're never sure where these books are going to take you but you can expect to enjoy them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still fun, 30 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Broken Homes (PC Peter Grant Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
South London does not come to life in the same way the north does in earlier books. Enjoyable though not as good as the earlier books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong continuation of the series but......., 19 Aug 2013
By 
K. J. Miller (Newbury, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Broken Homes (PC Peter Grant Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
Ben Aaronovitch's urban magic police procedural series continues with a journey south of the river and he continues the strong progress he started with the first three books in PC Grants journey.

Broken Homes is another good read but where it falls down from the previous 5 star efforts is in feeling too much like the first half of a two part novel.

The cliff hanger ending does leave you wanting more but it feels like (and is) a shorter less comprehensive tale in compairson to previous outings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PC Grant cops it hot !, 15 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Broken Homes (PC Peter Grant Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
Ben Aaronovitch has done it again, bringing London to life by filling his words with a genuine love of the city and its peculiarities and foibles. Peter Grant is one of the most original and refreshing voices to emerge from the field of speculative fiction in a long while. This episode combines the emergence of a crisper style of writing, pacier narrative and a genuinely shocking twist in the tail. Enjoy it, because its over far too quickly !
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