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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 June 2012
the third in this urban fantasy series it features peter grant a london copper who also happens to be one of englands only apprentice wizards, and refreshingly not your bog standard generically white sorcerer type. set in a world where magical crime is handled by the officers of the 'folly' the met police unofficial department for all things supernatural, and where issac newton contrubited as much to magic as he did to science, weird things are on the rise and peter must investigate a murder while learning the finer points of magic from his mentor Detective Inspector Nightingale.

this is a engrossing read painting a picture of london where strange things lurk around corners, and while i found the magic formulic not that much different then that found in many other series that was the only aspect of the story i found by the numbers, the various Supernatural entities from the Rivers and the Quiet People are well described and not the usual elf/goblin/vampire knock off the references to policing are obviously well researched, and peters relationship to leslie his fellow apprentice gratifyingly complex, a another copper who peter oirginally had a crush on who suffered horrific facial injuries on a previous case, it contains love guilt and friendship without descending into the overwrought emo mess these stories are prone too helped by the fact that leslie is a strong resilient character without being cartoonishly super human, at the end of the day this man can write and as for the story..

At 3am Peter grant one of londons few magical cops gets called to the subway to investigate the killing of a man in possible spooky circumstances with the murder victim being a american citzen, peter not only has to pursue a case in a world where his collegues cant, and wont, admit magic exits but also liase with a american FBI agent all the while pursuing a Homicidal sorcerer on the side..
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on 14 August 2013
PC Grant, Lesley and co never fail to disappoint. It's always good to see London in a new, fascinating and a bit magical way. I travel a lot in London and this series makes me chuckle as I pass or visit places the characters end up in....makes you wonder....how much do we really know about our surroundings? Next please!
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on 18 June 2012
Another enjoyable and well-paced read from Ben Aaronovitch (the former bookseller and less famous brother of David and son of the Socialist and autodidact intellectual Sam) with all the usual humour and thaumaturgical reading of London one has come to expect. He is far better than the other writers in his field, e.g. Mike Carey (too dark); Kate Griffin (her books about the Electric Blue Angels are almost completely incomprehnsible) and Jim Butcher. Only Charles Stross or Niel Gaiman's 'Neverwhere' comes close (and there is much of Neverwhere in this novel).

However, there were some elements (carrying over from his previous novels) which feel underdeveloped. Just what did happen during the war at Ettersberg*? And who/ what is the faceless magaician? Some hints, but sadly no answers.

* In real-time history, Ettersberg (Etter Mountain) was the location of Buchenwald concentration camp, home to amongst others as Ilse Koch (the so called Bitch or Witch of Buchenwald, though her methods were taxidermy than thaumaturgy).
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on 14 July 2012
I've gobbled up the first 2 books, and have waited eagerly for the third installment. I've had to read some complete nonsense while waiting, so very happy when it pinged onto my Kindle.

I agree with other reviewers, Whispers Underground is the best out of the series. If like me, you regularly use the London Underground, in all it's sweaty hot unreliable horror, it is actually not too difficult to imagine the hundreds of miles of tunnels could be home to a subterranean community, in fact I have jumped out of my skin thinking I've seen a face in the darkness, maybe it wasn't the post work shandy making me see things after all! PC Peter Gray, his partner in magic Lesley and their 'Guvnor' Nightingale are joined by an FBI agent to investigate the murder of an American National in the darkness of one of the biggest underground systems in the World. these, and other characters are imaginative and well thought out. Real quality writing, and a fantastic story.

The narrative does at times slip a little too much into comedy I thought, and this book is much lighter than Moon Over Soho.

There is a lot of scope to develop characters further, especially Molly, the ghostly housekeeper at The Folly!

Loved it. Roll on the next one.
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on 28 February 2015
Even though I don't live in London and never want to, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Well written, very few errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPG) to distract from the story, effective humour, likeable protagonist, believable antagonist. I drank in the first five, where is the next one Mr A?
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on 28 July 2013
This is one of the most fascinating books I have read in a long time. Funny, clever and intriguing, I am at a loss as to what to read next when I finish an Aaronovitch. I have read all the subsequent ones and enjoy them just as much. Thank you, Ben Aaronovitch, for a breath of very fresh air
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on 18 December 2012
Another enjoyable read in this series of three (so far) this book continues and develops this intriguing theme. Approaching the same standard as the original of the series, Rivers of London, it raised the quality level compared with the second book, although this was still an enjoyable read.
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on 29 June 2012
I was looking forward to this book so much, I woke up at 4am to download it onto my kindle. Then I read the first chapter and was useless at work the next day. That is how much I like the Peter Grant stories. I love the eccentricity of the magical police officers and the fact that one of the main characters is the city of London itself.

Our gang at The Folly have to investigate the mysterious death of a young man found in an underground station. Of course, this death is not as simple as a straightforward murder, there is magic and all sorts afoot as Peter, Lesley and Nightingale go on a hunt around and under London to find the bonkers truth.

What I like about this, and this third story has really refined this, is the banter between Peter and his colleagues. They may be doing magic and discovering all sorts of strangeness but they are all down to earth and witty as hell. The only thing I would have liked is more at the end, I felt there was more information to be had from some more characters and a few loose ends that could be explored more. Well I guess that means I'll have to wait for the next one. Hurry up and write it please!
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on 5 July 2012
I have been looking forward to this book ever since I finished Moon over Shoho and I am pleased to report that it does not disappoint.

This book has more of a sense of being a police detective novel that was a little absent in the second. It also sees the welcome return of Lesley who's awkward relationship with Peter is one of the consistent high points of the series. Sewoll is back and his little "holiday" has done nothing to improve his mood (if these books are ever adapted for the screen then you would have to get Philip Glenister to play Sewoll).

If there is one thing that is missing from this book it is much progression of the overall story "arc". We do not see the "Ethically challenged wizard" again or learn much more about him or his motives. This is not necessarily a bad thing though. Having established a "big bad" for the series, it would be a shame to reveal too much about him in one go. A villain needs to retain some mystery in order to provide menace. There is also an intriguing hint however that we may not have seen the last of Mr Punch.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait for volume 4.
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on 15 July 2012
I loved the first two books, which I read one after I discovered Rivers Of London and loved the quirky, well-described characters living out their ordinary lives whilst having extra-ordinary powers. I'm not generally a reader of fantasy but discovered that I enjoy the humour and plot of Ben Aaronovitch in the same way as I enjoy that of Neal Stephenson in Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon. That said, his third novel is simply not as good as the first two. I still enjoyed it but the characters were somewhat confusing to keep track of and I just didn't care about them as much. Nightingale and the Rivers were really only mentioned in passing and there was one or two new characters who I can see recurring but if the main characters in the central story are never heard of again, it wouldn't matter to me.
I still liked the book, read it in two days and will eagerly await a fourth but it simply wasn't as great as the first two.
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