By Ben Aaronovitch
Out: 13th November 2014
The Book: In the anticipated fifth instalment in The Sunday Times bestselling Rivers of London series, Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch takes Peter Grant out of London – to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. But while you can take the London copper out of London you can’t take the London out of the copper.
Travelling west with Beverley Brook, Peter soon finds himself caught up in a deep mystery and having to tackle local cops and local gods. And what’s more all the shops are closed by 4.00pm…
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. The books have now been optioned to become a TV series.
Born and raised in London, Ben Aaronovitch now lives in Kentish Town. He is a former bookseller and script writer, most famously for Doctor Who when he was the first person to write a scene of a Dalek going up a flight of stairs in a TV story in “Remembrance of the Daleks”. He now writes full-time.
The Review: Although this is the fifth novel in this terrific series, if you’re just joining the series then this is actually a good place to start. While there are references to what has gone before – which I won’t spoil here – Foxglove Summer offers a funny, hugely entertaining jump on point for new readers, as police officer and apprentice magician Peter Grant is taken out of his comfort zone and plonked right down in the middle of the countryside. It’s a fate I’m sure – indeed I know – many Londoners dread.
When there’s not only the danger of mixing with friendly (and in some cases, over friendly) locals but the possibility you might get skewered by a mythical beast as you try to help the local police force find two missing children, I’m sure there’s some justification for those city dwellers’ fears.
Throughout this enjoyable series, Ben Aaronovitch has developed a richly-textured alternate Britain as Peter Grant, seconded to investigate the weird and the magical under the direction of his mysterious mentor, Nightingale, has discovered a dark fantasy world running alongside the regular London. While never forgetting this is a crime novel, with a meticulous eye kept on police procedure (unlike most TV police dramas), Ben’s further developed his Rivers of London universe in this new novel, with plenty of twists and turns along the way as a mystery is solved (but not without a twist) and others are left hanging for future tales.
Ben has deservedly earned high praise for his Rivers of London series and Foxglove Summer continues to broaden the saga with gusto. With plenty of dark humour and action, great characters – human and otherwise! – this latest novel more than delivers everything fans will expect from a new story in this brilliant series. Thoroughly recommended.
• Local bookshops and festivals will be celebrating the publication of Foxglove Summer throughout November 2014, and a number of them will be hosting talk and signing events with Ben Aaronovitch.
Friday 7th November
7pm – 9.00pm St Albans Literary Festival
Sunday 9th November
2pm – 4pm Wimbourne Book Festival
Monday 10th November
1 – 2.00.00pm Forbidden Planet Megastore Signing, London
Tuesday 11th November
1- 2.00pm Hatchards Kings Cross St Pancras Signing
Wednesday 12th November
1.00pm Waterstones Leeds signing
Thursday 13th November
Friday 14th November
Saturday 15th November
1 – 2pm Toppings Bath Solo Talk and Signing
Sunday 30th November
Sunday 7th December