Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The October Man

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The October Man (2019) Ben Aaronovitch

Let me be clear: This is NOT a Peter Grant story.

It’s set in the same world, and Peter and Nightingale are mentioned, but it’s about another character entirely, policeman Tobias Winter, an investigator for the Abteilung KDA, the German equivalent of the Folly.

I ended up in the Abteilung KDA because I didn’t talk myself out of it fast enough, and because the Director has a vile sense of humour. I ended up learning magic because you can’t trust the British to keep to an agreement over the long term.

I’ll be honest, I went not expecting a lot, mostly because the last several Rivers of London comics have been lousy.

With those expectations, I was pleased.

One of the things I was happy to find were the wry asides I love so much.

A Mercedes C-class went past me with a forgotten mug still on the roof— the smell of coffee mingling with the exhaust. I watched with amazement as the mug stayed on as the car took a hard left— perhaps it was magnetised.

Farmers make the best murderers because they have totally legitimate access to everything from plastic sheeting to industrial strength chemicals and heavy digging equipment. And, of course, stretches of land out of the prying eyes of strangers.

I’m certain there are plenty of people who will be pissed that this is not a Peter Grant story, and why is Ben Aaronovitch wasting his time on these side stories, but I am completely ok with this.

First, I think that he has more stories than he can tell, and I really like this side treks. Second, I’d rather have a well-done Peter Grant story, than something he felt he had to write solely to please fans. We weren’t left with a cliff-hanger at the end of the last book, so if he wants to take these side journeys, I’m perfectly content with that–especially if those journeys are going to be fun and entertaining like the early comics and this novella.

I also really like the glimpses into the German side of things, including the hints at what the German practitioners were up to during the way, and how the war shaped both groups in totally different manners.

Publisher: Subterranean Press
Rating: 8.5/10


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