Author: Ben Aaronovitch, 2011.
Genre: Urban Fantasy. Police Procedural. Black Comedy. Myth and Legend.
Other Details: Hardback 375 pages. Unabridged Audiobook (10 hrs) Read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.
I was my dad's vinyl-wallah: I changed his records while he lounged around drinking tea, and that's how I know my Argo from my Tempo. And it's why, when Dr Walid called me to the morgue to listen to a corpse, I recognised the tune it was playing. Something violently supernatural had happened to the victim, strong enough to leave its imprint like a wax cylinder recording. Cyrus Wilkinson, part-time jazz saxophonist and full-time accountant, had apparently dropped dead of a heart attack just after finishing a gig in a Soho jazz club. He wasn't the first.
No one was going to let me exhume corpses to see if they were playing my tune, so it was back to old-fashioned legwork, starting in Soho, the heart of the scene. I didn't trust the lovely Simone, Cyrus' ex-lover, professional jazz kitten and as inviting as a Rubens' portrait, but I needed her help: there were monsters stalking Soho, creatures feeding off that special gift that separates the great musician from someone who can raise a decent tune. What they take is beauty. What they leave behind is sickness, failure and broken lives. - synopsis from UK publisher's website.
I found the events at the conclusion of 'Rivers of London' quite upsetting and as a result I ended up waiting far too long to pick up the second in the series even though I have bought hardback copies of all in the series to date. I decided to make this right in 2015.
Aside from being a superb urban fantasy, Ben Aaronovitch does a wonderful job with presenting a convincing police procedural. A friend who is a police officer says Aaronovitch is spot on in his depiction of the Met - of course aside from the secret magical department. Though who knows, Aaronovitch makes it seem quite credible. In addition, he presents fascinating details of London's history and architecture. As with the first novel there are plenty of pop culture referenced and sharp witty dialogue.
This is one of those series that I enjoy so much that I both read and listen to the audio edition. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith does a brilliant job of capturing the voice of the laddish Peter Grant. Perfection on all levels.