Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4)
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Broken Homes (Peter Grant #4)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  4,882 ratings  ·  710 reviews
A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil; an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common or garden serial killer?

Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his case-load.

So far so London.

But then Pete...more
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published July 25th 2013 by Gollancz (first published February 4th 2013)
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Community Reviews

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"This book is dedicated to all the people who get up and do something about it, whatever “it” is and however small the thing it is they do."
With this perfect dedication, Broken Homes - the fourth entry in Ben Aaronovitch's series about a snarky, geeky and ultimately good London Police Constable Peter Grant, employed in the subdivision of the Metropolitan police focused on magical side of the society - hit the high note from the very beginning and remained very good until the last page.

A few thi...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Aug 16, 2013 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: you know, I'd recommend it on a case by case basis.

If you've read any other Broken Homes reviews or checked out the range of ratings, you'll know that opinion on this book runs the gamut. For me, Aaronovich is starting to feel like he is coming into his own. It's mature, developed writing with rich characters and a thoughtfully developed magic and supernatural system. Without doubt, pacing is a little off from a traditional detective story, but I found that for me, it reflected the inconsistent nature of real-life police work; one does not work...more
I would have loved to finally give one of these books a perfect score, because I love the series for its world-building and characters, but, man, this book has pacing problems.

For the first 200 pages or so, it feels like nothing of true interest actually happens in this book. Oh, don’t get me wrong, a lot of stuff does happen, from bloody murders, advancement of the overarching “Faceless Man” plotline, to subtle and sometimes not so subtle character development. And the Festival of the River God...more
This series gets better with every new book! I was practically hyperventilating for the last 30 or so pages of this story and it took a good 10 minutes to catch my breath after hitting The End. Ben Aaronovitch doesn't pull his punches. He's become one of my favourite authors with this series.

The pace is quick, the dialogue is entertaining and full of witty banter, the characters are deep complicated people who you can't help but fall in love with, Peter's scientific studies into the nature of ma...more

I don't read much contemporary urban supernatural fiction, I prefer classic fantasy and big epics set on secondary worlds. But over the last four books I've grown quite fond of Police Constable Peter Grant (I think that's what PC stands for, other than personal computer). The supporting staff is all right (Lesley, Nightingale, Molly, the dog, the doctor, etc) but a good series that wants to go the distance of 10 books or more needs a strong, interesting protagonist, somebody the reader can ident...more
Lois Bujold
Aug 12, 2013 Lois Bujold rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers who share my tastes in authorial voice and mentor figures
Recommended to Lois by: am following the series

Well, this was a delightful part of a story...

Ends on one or more cliffhangers, rather more so than a couple of the prior episodes. Aaronovitch had better be careful in traffic for the next year, just sayin'. And no smoking. Take small bites and chew carefully, etc.

That said, it gave me a lot of the things I wanted, namely, more Peter Grant, more London, and more of the other residents of the Folly. The love of the city fascinates me as a perversion in its in its own right, since personally I th...more
Ben Aaronovitch just gets better and better, I have missed Peter Grant with his sarcastic often witty descriptions, analogies, quips etc that never fail to have me laughing to myself, I love the characters, 'The Nightingale', Lesley, Molly and of course how cleverly the magical world is integrated into the very essence of London and it's tributaries.
I found this offering a real delight, pure escapism and was glad to see Grant's nemesis 'The Faceless Man' up to no good and always it appear...more
What the hell did I just read? Where’s the rest of it? I need the rest of it NOW!

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 th...more
Tim "The Enchanter"
Enjoyable Read with a Great Finish

As with most urban fantasy, I feel the need to somehow make a reference to the Dresden Files, which stands (for most people) at the pinnacle of the genre. Early into the series, it was difficult not to compare the two. Dresden is a PI who happens to be a wizard - Peter Grant is a Police Constable who happens to be a wizard. Vampires, trolls and magical being inhabit both their worlds. Now, four books into the series, Ben Aaronovitch clearly sets himself apart...more
Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4) Before reading:


After starting to read:

This is all really cute and fluffy and the interactions between the characters are great as always but...where is the point? There were things happening...a lot of things. There's several bodies, theft...and they have barely time to investigate anything in depth because something new turns up.

For a considerable part of the first 100-150 pages it seemed like...more
I think I need a support group to talk about this book. Or at least, the end of this book. If you like your books to kick you in the teeth real hard, go ahead and read this one.

At this point, I've stopped comparing these books to the Dresden Files because apparently I care a lot more about them and the characters involved than I ever did about Harry Dresden and crew. I'm still a bit disappointed there aren't more major female characters, but I'm very definitely emotionally invested.

This would've...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

New rule: if you are an urban fantasy starring a London policeman-turned-wizard named Peter Grant, then I MUST READ YOU. Let's just say I have waited a long time for this! After devouring the first three books last spring, I was left with a void that only this series' dry wit and magical action could provide, and now book four has finally made its way to the US.

Ben Aaronovitch does not hold back for Peter's latest adventur...more
4½ out of 5 stars

Just pre-orderedthe next book ( Foxglove Summer ), 3 months in advance. No book series has ever motivated me to do thatbefore.

First off, that revelation at the end just as everything was falling to pieces, that was perfect timing. So perfect it left me a little winded tbqh. Well done, Mr. Aaronovitch. You've successfully made me jump out of my seat while waiting at the DMV. That's no easy feat because it was the DMV, the whole place was packed, and I was standing.

This isn't a rev...more
Moira Russell
I ordered this early from! MINE MINE MINE

-- Well, that was better-plotted than the second one, and more interesting than the third one (which draaaaagged terribly for me), but it's almost completely middle-of-the-plot setup, like the last Thursday Next novel. (This at least explains why the first half of the book, altho well-written, has the narrative pace of a nice Sunday drive.) It also ends on a complete and total CLIFFHANGER, which I found really frustrating. But Peter's narrati...more
Right, so now I know it's personal. This was being my perfect Peter Grant read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith - no Simone, no dodgy Irish accents, nothing to take away from the sheer pleasure of going along on this meandering, entertaining ride, and then there's a massive great blow (both literal and figurative) and the book winds up soon afterwards. I've loved the structure of the previous outings: starting the book with one character and returning to that character with a reveal or teaser setting up...more
I enjoyed reading the first three books in Ben Aaronovitch’s “Peter Grant” series, there’s something addictive about them and they were all great fun to read, even if the two sequels weren’t quite as good as the original “Rivers of London”. The fourth book in what looks to be a long running series continues that trend, it is another entertaining read although again it is falls slightly short of being as good as it perhaps could have been.

I thought the book took a while to build up momentum. The...more
Review from Backchatting Books

In "Broken Homes" we have a series of deaths that seem like isolated cases, except PC Peter Grant recognises the signature vestigia of the warped magician, the Faceless Man. All clues lead to a mysterious housing estate so Peter, Lesley and Toby head off to investigate.

Peter is a complex character who needs to understand the scientific principles behind magic. He’s still conducting experiments and still struggling to master magic. I appreciate this touch of realism...more
Another entertaining and enjoyable book in the Peter Grant series of urban fantasy stories. This one has Peter and the team on the trail of their arch nemesis the Faceless Man again. Just as it seems that they might win this time, there is a moment of "curse you and your surprising but inevitable betrayal" which sends the end of the story spiralling off in a different direction altogether. There will be some quite serious repercussions in the next book I suspect, and it may well have to be a dar...more
A good, solid installment in this series. I didn't like it quite as much as the last book, but then the last book had lots of tunnels and this one hasn't. It does have a rather interesting 1950s tower block, though. And more Peter being a bit bumbling and a bit sarky, and more Nightingale being anachronistic, and more Walid being cool.

And a cliffhanger ending, which I think very unfair of the author.

(Though the really burning question may actually be, what is Molly doing on Peter's computer?)
Stephanie Swint
If you have not picked up 'The Rivers of London' series by Ben Aaronovitch. This is the fourth of a wonderful urban fantasy/detective series set in London and its surrounding areas. Aside from me, this series is recommended by Daniel O'Malley, author of the 'The Rook' and has some similarities. I also have learned that Dresden files fans also like this series. If you have read the previous three books you know they are fantastic fun and should be required reading for those with even a passing in...more
Other reviewers have said that this is more a middle novel in a series, and a set-up for what comes next. While this is true as far as it goes, I think it's one of the tightest of this series. It reminds me of the second book in most trilogies; the arc of the book itself is somewhat subsumed to the arc of the series as a whole.

Don't start here. Too much won't make any sense without the background, and there's very little fill-in; it just starts to GO and doesn't stop.

I love this series. It's a u...more
I sat down to talk about this right when I finished, but ended up just keysmashing and reeling off to eat a cupcake.

Take two.

The formula of these books is pretty set at this point: we have a series of seemingly random crimes, the investigation of which is punctuated by apprentice bickering and magic practice. There's some kind of event that gets all the personified rivers out to play, generally in a manner having nothing to do with anything else that's happening, but I love them so I don't care....more
Fangs for the Fantasy
Peter and Lesley are still trying to track down the Faceless Man and his erstwhile pupils; it’s a long, tedious task only achievable by dogged police work.

Of course, the understaffed magical police force has plenty of other things to drag their attention – an ancient magical book that a thief tried to sell, a man committing a very suspicious suicide, people being microwaved, a Russian military trained witch and the gods and goddesses of the Thames demanding their attention. And some of it is def...more
Ben Aaronovitch is now one of those authors whose books I will buy and read immediately.

Peter Grant is a young Londoner, and is now settling into his job in the weirdness-division of the Metropolitan Police Force. He's also learning to do magic (not as easy as it looks).

The thing I like the most about the Peter Grant series is the sense of time and place - Peter's London, and his Met, are recognisable. The magic slides into the mundane in a way that is believable. The various plotlines - a prob...more
Lou Robinson
Definitely not the best of the series so far, but was glad that it was set South of the River this time. Even mentions Wimbledon! All the way through, I was thinking it was a solid 3*, but then Aaronovitch stuck in an excellent cliffhanging twist and I had to make it 4. How long to wait for the next book I wonder? I really do like these stories.
It's not Scottish. I wasn't gonna. I was going to wait. But now I'm 70 pages in and I can no longer pretend I'm not reading this.


Maybe I expect an awful lot from these books, but I was less wowed than I used to be. Still excellent fun.

There is indeed a twist, and you shouldn't look for it, because I went from laughing to horrified silence in the shortest space of time I can ever remember doing so. Damn it all. Next one had better be soon.
John Gwynne
Another great instalment - by parts witty, gripping, exciting. Pacing wasn't quite as solid as the previous books and there was a unusual fascination with 1970's architecture, but the end more than made up for any earlier lapses. Seeing Nightingale finally let rip was just awesome. Looking forward to book 5!
Experiment BL626
It's book 4 and by far the weakest book of the series. I was never a fan of the writing because it was too dense for my taste, but I tolerated it. Not this time. The writing was too dry and tangential, and it was the yucky result of a meager plot.

+ the plot

The plot didn't hit the ground running till the last third of the book when Peter and Lesley went undercover to sniff out the perp. It was the only part of the book that held any excitement for me, and just barely. The rest of the book was swa...more
Graham Crawford
There is one unforgivable problem with this book - Aaronovitch hasn't yet written the next one in the series and I am going to have to wait for my next fix of Peter Grant.

I think "Broken Homes" is my favorite so far - possibly because architecture - which has always featured heavily in the series - becomes crucial to the plot in this one. There is also a strong social justice message about high rise welfare housing that Aaronovitch really sinks his teeth into. The comedy is delicious, but there...more
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I loved this book 2 13 Jun 10, 2014 08:27AM  
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Ben Aaronovitch's career started with a bang writing for Doctor Who, subsided in the middle and then, as is traditional, a third act resurgence with the bestselling Rivers of London series.

Born and raised in London he says that he'll leave his home when they prise his city out of his cold dead fingers.
More about Ben Aaronovitch...
Midnight Riot (Peter Grant, #1) Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2) Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant, #3) Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks (Target Doctor Who Library) Transit

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