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Broken Homes (Peter Grant/Rivers of London #4)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  19,772 Ratings  ·  1,670 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
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published July 25th 2013 by Gollancz (first published February 4th 2013)
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Jenny OH I agree with Charles - I'm only about a third of the way in but I can't think of any major events or characters so far that DON'T need some backstory…moreI agree with Charles - I'm only about a third of the way in but I can't think of any major events or characters so far that DON'T need some backstory knowledge, down to the main character's dog. I absolutely wouldn't jump into the series with this book. The series so far has been an engaging and therefore relatively quick read, so I'd go for it if you're thinking of starting from the beginning.(less)
Michael Trick Must have been picked up in editing after the hardcover printing since the "dead" is removed from my kindle version as well as the goodreads preview.…moreMust have been picked up in editing after the hardcover printing since the "dead" is removed from my kindle version as well as the goodreads preview. +1 for reader engagement.(less)

Community Reviews

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Jan 11, 2013 Carol. rated it it was amazing
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
"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 th
Nov 08, 2016 Paromjit rated it really liked it
I have returned to the urban fantasy world of PC Peter Grant based at The Folly, and a wonderful police procedural series set in underground magical London. It has a great sense of location in London and makes the most of the buildings and character of the city. We have the policing of the Spring Court, attended by the major river gods with all the attendant festivities and stalls. There are the undercurrents apparent between Peter and Beverly Brook, a slow heating romance in the making. Lesley ...more
Victoria Schwab
I adore this series. Police procedural with supernatural villains and wizard cops.
Feb 11, 2017 Philip rated it liked it
3.5ish stars.

In some ways this is the most satisfying yet, in others it's the most frustrating. As is typical for the series, the plot is... meandering. More here than in previous books even, despite it's return to what seems to be the overarching plot line connecting the books. And I feel like that's just true to its police procedural reality- I imagine actual police officers are engaging in various types of business and following multiple leads at any given time- it's just a little manic and i
Jun 05, 2016 Carol. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: police procedural UF fans
I loves it so much that this may be the reason I join Audible. Or is there another way for me to owns my precious?

Holdbrook-Smith's narration coupled with Aaronovitch's story is an absolutely splendid combination. Peter Grant has a dry, wry bent, and Holdbrook-Smith is allowing the emotion to come through, even allowing himself to become exclamatory in a couple of parts.

Holdbrook-Smith also has an amazing ability to convey a range of types. He must truly be an actor's actor. He does the genteel
Jun 26, 2017 Brad rated it it was amazing
This series seems to be only getting better. The characters are getting more fascinating and the developments are definitely keeping me on the edge of my seat.

London police and a sideline of magic has never felt more realistic. Peter gets to show off a bit of his architectural background this time, too, and I think this aspect was probably my very favorite part of the book.

Architecture has always been a bit magical, don't you think? There's been plenty of literature on the idea and enough evide
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
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
Mar 23, 2017 Stephan rated it it was amazing
Oh YES! Smack - dead in the center! There's nothing wrong with four stars, but this, my friends, is a full hand, all 5 of them: ★★★★★

You know when you pay the extra quid for quality because you know this is the time and place where it matters and makes a difference? Then you get what you bought, hold it in your hands and it feels really good, solid, valuable and all that. To me, that's a wonderful four star. Add a pinch of "Bloody hell!", "WTF?" or "Strike!" and little ol' fifth star comes runni
Lois Bujold
Dec 29, 2012 Lois Bujold rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 14, 2013 Algernon rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013

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
Apr 11, 2016 Phrynne rated it really liked it
This series just keeps getting better and better! I am listening to it on audio and the reader is really, really good. His range of accents is perfect right through from our London copper to upper class Nightingale, Oberon, a Russian witch and many more. Broken Homes is definitely a middle book in a series and one which should be read in the correct order as the author provides very little back story to help a new reader. Each book leads into the next one and this one does it in such style that ...more
Brendon Schrodinger
So it seems that the Peter Grant series is suffering from what I am calling "Reverse-Star-Trek-Movie-itis" or that the truly good books in this series are the odd numbered. I know there is only four, but I'm calling it. So while I look forward to book 5 coming soon, not so much book 6.

Look I know I am being critical here, this is still a fun novel to read, but it's no 'Rivers of London' or 'Whispers Underground' in that there is no one overarching chain of events from initial mystery to wonderfu
Jul 30, 2013 Nikki rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mystery, crime
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
Last 20%, 4 stars. First 80%, 2 stars. Very generous average, 3 stars.

I liked some of the characters added/expanded upon in this book, but it took me over a week to read it because it was slow and boring compared to the first few of the series. The last 20% of the book actually had stuff happen, and convinced me that I should probably continue on with the series for at least one more and see if it was just a one-off fluke.

Oh, and shame on you, character. You know who you are. I thought this migh
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
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
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
I adored how Peter told the story about London life, it was an amusing read. Mr. Aaronovitch used a great way to attract attention to the world of London, so magical, fantastic and realistic at the same time. Also I loved the idea of magic mixing with architecture. I’m not an architecture expert but the architectural details were very believable and impressive mixed up with the magic stuff. At last I got some fun stuff to read about the bad-ass-witcher aka Nightingale.

His wild meeting with the
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
Sep 16, 2013 M. rated it it was amazing
Just pre-ordered the next book ( Foxglove Summer ), 3 months in advance. No book series has ever motivated me to do that before.

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.

Review moved to http://covers2
Dec 27, 2013 Andy rated it it was ok
Back for more Peter Grant & the gang at the Folly!

Oh dear......... 2.5 stars & the 1/2pt is only cause I’ve really enjoyed the series too date.

Well what went wrong here then...... it jus lacked the humour & action (In bucket fulls) of the previous reads in the series, I found myself nodding off as it was mostly Jus Peter Grant & well, council housing of Greater London...... what! Bored for the most part. It lacked the characters that we've grown to love & at 200+ pages had g
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
Dec 27, 2016 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, mystery, crime
Reading the end of this book for the first time made me realise I really was hooked on the series. It just punched me in the gut and made me realise how much I cared. Reading the whole series again, I’ve been anticipating this book. And yet… for most of the book, you have no idea what’s coming. It’s pretty much like the other books in the series: police work, friendship, the mysteries of various characters… It widens up the world again, of course, giving us another glimpse at magic elsewhere in ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Broken Homes is an interesting addition to the Peter Grant series, with details on the history of the magical world, the training of new wizards, urban architecture, London lore, and a final twist I didn't see coming. On top of all that, I'm greatly looking forward to reading the next book.

Aaronovitch took soon time and effort in this installment to work in some quite useful information on details necessary to the wizardry craft, things Peter and his partner Lesley need to know and are in the p
Ivana Nešić
Jan 19, 2017 Ivana Nešić rated it it was amazing
Serijal "Rivers of London" prati doživljaje mladog policajca Pitera Granta koji postaje deo magijske divizije londonske policije. Zanimljivo je kako se niko živi iz obične policije ne čudi što takva divizija postoji. Još je zanimljiviji super engleski humor, pristup proučavanju magije, prikaz multietničkog i multirasnog stanovništva Londona...
Do sada sam oklevala da napišem bilo šta o ovom serijalu. Upravo zato što mi se toliko dopada, sklona sam i da iznesem masu zamerki, a to ne bi bilo baš f
Aug 31, 2016 Faith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, overdrive
This book ends at a point that makes it essential that I continue with the series, but I would anyway, because I am completely addicted to the combination of author and narrator of the audiobooks. This wryly amusing series is really wonderful and deserves to be more widely known. Peter Grant should have his own TV series, preferably starring Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, the actor who narrates the audiobooks.
Feb 14, 2017 Lata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this. More details later.

I'm not sure this held together as well as the first three books, but it was still a great read. These books mix tense plots, action, and fascinating details together in a really irresistible way.

I really enjoyed the architecture subplot, and am very disappointed to learn that Skygarden isn't real! It is at least based on a real housing development I might get to go look at one of these days, but that one won't look like Isengard.

And after the plot twist at the end of this, maybe I should drop
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
[Spoilers] The Twist Ending 17 247 May 11, 2017 02:30AM  
The Folly Irregulars: Broken Homes--just starting 14 11 Mar 01, 2017 11:19AM  
The Folly Irregulars: Broken Homes--finished? 14 11 Feb 26, 2017 10:23AM  
I loved this book 3 47 Jan 07, 2015 08:09AM  
Skygarden [Spoilers] 4 96 Apr 18, 2014 04:01AM  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Peter Grant/Rivers of London (6 books)
  • Rivers of London (Peter Grant, #1)
  • Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2)
  • Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant #3)
  • Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant, #5)
  • The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant, #6)

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“In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.” 166 likes
“That which does not kill us,” I said, “has to get up extra early in the morning if it wants to get us next time.” 20 likes
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