Ben Aaronovitch has stormed the bestseller list with his superb London crime series. A unique blend of police procedural, loving detail about the greatest character of all, London, and a dash of the supernatural.
In the new novel DC Peter Grant must head south of the river to the alien environs of Elephant and Castle. There’s a murderer abroad and, as always when Grant’s department are reluctantly called in by CID there is more than a whiff of the supernatural in the darkness.
Full of warmth, sly humour and a rich cornucopia of things you never knew about London, Aaronovitch’s series has swiftly added Grant’s magical London to Rebus’ Edinburgh and Morse’s Oxford as a destination of choice for those who love their crime with something a little extra.
On a more rational note, this is another better novel of the Peter Grant series. As ever, the strength of the writing and story lies on Peter’s narration and sarcastic voice, so if that hasn’t won you over by now, don’t expect the scattered plot threads to dazzle you. If you’re invested in the long plot, however, sit back and enjoy the ride.
The story is of the slow sort and reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes in a way that doesn’t make a good mystery novel. Not in the puristic sense. Too much is hidden for the readers to piece together the puzzle for themselves and they have to wait for the genius to guide them through the intuitive steps of logical deduction.
Broken Homes also suffers from the middle book syndrome but because this is the fourth in the series let’s call it the set up syndrome. Everything, and I do mean everything is set up for bigger things to come and even the explosions at the end aren’t enough to release the underlying tension. It feels like things are going to get a lot worse before they get better and Peter needs to improve on his policing as well as his magic lessons. And fast.
When’s the next book coming out again?