Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Midnight Riot

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Midnight Riot (2011) Ben Aaronovitch

Peter Grant wants to be a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Unfortunately, his tendency to be distracted looks like it’s going to head him into the Case Progression Unit. Until one night he comes across a witness to a crime no one else has talked to.

Too bad that witness is a ghost, and so not someone who will look good on the witness stand, or even stand up to the scrutiny of his superiors.

But that witness leads Peter to a completely unexpected (and before unknown) path.

I started this a month or so ago, and then put it down, not quite sure where it was going. But–the advantage of an eBook–I was waiting and started it back up and then got sucked in.

So my first recommendation is that if you start this, give it two chapters. It’s not that the initial chapters are bad, they’re just an introduction to Peter and Leslie, and background leading you into where the story is REALLY going.

And where the story was going, was a supernatural police thriller. Interestingly, this book was not completely sanitized of Briticisms, which I particularly liked. Sure, it took me a bit to figure some things out, but why would I want to read a book set in London where all the characters sound American.

There were also lots of smart bits that I found both true,

People assume that, as a police officer, your first dead person will be a murder victim, but the truth is that it’s usually the result of a car accident.

but also smart and sad commentary on people,

…but risking a fair fight–not so easy. That’s why you see those pissed young men doing the dance of “don’t hold me back” while desperately hoping someone likes them enough to hold them back.

as well as upon history,

Sir Thomas De Veil–a man so routinely corrupt that he managed to shock eighteenth-century London society, generally considered by historians to be the most corrupt epoch in the history of the British Isles.

In other words, a thoroughly enjoyable combination of supernatural fantasy and police procedural.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Del Rey


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