Whispers Under Ground – Ben Aaronovitch


So book 3 in the Rivers of London (or PC Grant, opinions differ) series. It felt like a long wait before I got to read this. It was 3 books and 14 days. But all those books were perfectly fine (all 7s) and two weeks isn’t that long.

So we’re back with Peter Grant, Lesley May and Inspector Nightingale. Lesley is now also training to be a wizard (or a ‘practitioner’). Like the previous two books Whispers Under Ground has its own story – the mysterious death of an American art student at Baker Street tube station. Also like the previous books there’s more of an ongoing element. This time I suppose you could say it stretches back as well as forward.

I did really enjoy this book, but not quite as much as the other two. Whether that has anything to do with the fact that it took me a couple of weeks to read it – which was about being tired a lot not about the writing – I don’t know. It does have the trademark humour but either I’m getting used to it or the one-liners are less zing-y than they were. Also the separation between the story-of-this-book and the unfolding narrative is more clear cut. I guess that in book 1 that’s almost accidental because as events occur and discoveries are made you have no way to know whether it’s connected to the current story because you don’t really know until the end that some of it will carry on to the next book. However I also think the on-going story is given more time here. I think in two or three books time it will be the story of that book.

I think I enjoyed those elements more. Getting drip-fed more details about Nightingale’s past is tantalizing and the ‘Faceless Man’ is an intriguing villain. Also I think that the ‘A plot’ involves a lot of running around tunnels and sewers and under the ground generally and it didn’t grab me as much as the other stuff. I like the ‘nazareth’ though.

So now there is a long wait – June! – for book 4 to be published. And I believe book 5 has at least been commissioned. Lots of stuff on the TBR pile to be catching up with in the meantime.

8/10 – our favourite wizard ‘going underground’.

Speaking of TBR it currently stands at 252 down from 253 which is obviously good. The currently reading list is standing still at 10 but I hope to knock that down soon.

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About shuggie

My name is Shuggie, Paul or LatePaul depending on where you know me from. I work in computers (databases) and occasionally write about softw
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