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Rivers of London: PC Peter Grant, Book 1 Audiobook – Unabridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,147 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 9 hours and 53 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group Limited
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 8 April 2011
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004VWD4I8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What Harry Potter would be like if he joined the fuzz

Rivers of London is quoted to be what Harry Potter would be like if he joined the fuzz. I’m not going to lie that would be well amusing.

Peter Grant as a character has got the kind of subtlety that smacks you in the face and tries really hard to act like it hadn’t. It was amazing.

Peter Grant is a twenty-something middle class mixed race man with a penchant for internal monologuing and an attitude like a hamster on speed – a million miles a minute.

Rivers of London follows Peter Grant’s journey an officer of the London Metropolitan Police Service and an apprentice wizard to Thomas Nightingale. It’s the apprentice wizard part I liked the most – typically you have one or the other either a copper or a wizard but Ben Aaronovitch has combined them beautifully. It’s funny and to the point but it also digresses off on tangents when Peter learns something new.

The story starts when Peter Grant tries to take a witness statement about a murder from a man who is already dead. This is my first inclination that I was going to like this book and it only gets better from there.

This story contains all sorts of paranormal beasties – river spirits, ghosts, vampires, a phantom Mr Punch from Punch and Judy, a revenant the list goes on. They’re all written really well too with good explanations of what they are and the forma that Peter learns as an apprentice.

Peter’s youth is a plus in this book as it gives him an edge over the older Nightingale – much older – and it also gives him an insight into how to deal with the feud between Mr Thames and Mama Thames. I’ll try not to give away too much of the plot but let’s just say when the title says Rivers it isn’t just a title.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm pretty late to this series and came upon it because it was recommended by an author whose work I admire. I absolutely loved it - BA's style is in the mode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Thor/Avengers/Firefly/Dr Who/Blake's Seven et al (he's written for some of them too) - it's clever, ironical, irreverent, fast and funny, just the right side of slick and very warm and affectionate. I adored the interweaving of the geography, history and folklore of London into the tale of a (well known when you recognise the clues) spirit of mischief running amok in and around Covent Garden and of the mighty Mama Thames (she's Nigerian, who knew?) and Father Thames (CEO of Travelling Fairs - ditto) locking horns over whether or not he has any right to try to extend his territorial claims below Teddington Lock. I am utterly beguiled by PC Grant, recent skeptical graduate of Hendon Police College, bona fide Londoner (loves his parents, his dad's jazz and his mum's groundnut chicken hot enough to burn the inside of your mouth) and brand new wizard apprentice. Who could fail to like him when he can flatten the likes of the roiling Lady Tyburn with the battle cry 'I'm an officer of the law, a keeper of the flame and a freeman of London .... that trumps a double-first from Oxford every time'! Fabulous stuff. Just bought book two - there are five in all and that is my summer reading pretty much sorted.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book, although it didn't grab me as something special. It's pleasant light entertainment, combining the mystery and urban fantasy genres.

The writing is smooth and lively and the characters are interesting, The depiction of London is authentic. It's obvious that the author knows the places he writes about. (Several writers whose London-set novels I've read recently seem to have gained their knowledge of London from Google.)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Rivers of London" is not my usual type of reading. I am strictly a SiFi buff but I do branch out into fantasy from time-to-time. This is one of those rare books that successfully walks the boundary between ScFi and fantasy. Ben Aaronvitch's credits include working on Dr Who and there is much about this book to remind the reader of the best of the Doctor. However, this is no children's story. It is a full blown adult book with adult themes.

The main character PC Peter Grant is a young, black London policeman. As the book opens he is living in a central London station house and is facing the reality of an unwelcome first non-probationary posting. His career changes when he has a conversation in Covent Garden with the ghost of a local petty crook who died 200 odd years before. A ghost who just happens to have witnessed a particularly strange and violent murder. When Peter returns to Covent Garden to seek out the ghost a second time he encounters Inspector Nightingale who takes this young constable at his word when he explains that he is there to interview a ghost about an on-going enquiry.

This encounter results in PC Peter Grant being posted to a wierd (in the literal sense) department headed by DI Nightingale. He moves into 'The Folly' - a piece of preserved Edwardian London in Russell Square - where he becomes the apprentice of the wizard, DI Nightingale and struggles to learn his first magic. Together they investigate events surrounding a disturbance close to the White Swan (a rugby pub on the Twickenham riverside).

This is where the rivers come in to play.
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