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Midnight Riot (Peter Grant / Rivers of London #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  38,679 Ratings  ·  4,356 Reviews
Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he'll face is a paper cut. But Peter's prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter' ...more
Paperback, Del Rey, 310 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Random House Ballantine (first published January 10th 2011)
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Anneke Actually, you can find the original English title "Rivers of London" if you copy the ISBN No. (which is 0575097566 BTW) into the search box.

Same if…more
Actually, you can find the original English title "Rivers of London" if you copy the ISBN No. (which is 0575097566 BTW) into the search box.

Same if you prefer the much nicer English cover of book 2, "Moon over Soho" (ISBN 0575097604).(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 14, 2013 Patrick rated it it was amazing

Great book. Urban fantasy. You should read it.

Why? Here's why....

1. It's witty.

2. It's not cliché.

3. It's smart.

4. It's set in London, and written by someone who obviously knows London.

5. The main character has a great voice.

5. The language is great. (See below.)

6. It hasn't been dumbed down for the American audience.

Well… okay. They did change the title in the US from "Rivers of London" to "Midnight Riot." That was a shame.

But they left a lot of good stuff in. I don't think I've ever
Rivers of London is a fun mix of so many things that I love in my pleasure reads - the geekiness and the science, the dry British humor², and the magical/mythical/phantasmagorical stuff in a big city³. What's not to like?

My whole life, basically. Really.
² Examples - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, even some of China Miéville's stuff.
³ Examples - Harry Dresden books, China Miéville, Neil Gaiman, even Sir Terry.
"Carved above the lintel were the words SCIENTIA POTESTAS EST. Science points east, I wo
Nov 10, 2015 julio rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to julio by: Erika
city people be like:


first of all, i wasn't too keen on what happens to lesley, but i guess you can't make an omelette without—

*ducks flung shoe*


this painfully-white guy i used to know read this book too, and he said aaronovitch's handling of race annoyed him, because while there is awesomeness like various london water goddesses being nigerians, aaronovitch himself is not nigerian, and people who speak authoritatively about races not their own are typically embarrassing and distasteful.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Midnight Riot is the kind of book that people like me, absolute anglophile and devoted BBC lover, couldn’t help but like. The humor and the texture to the narrative in this book reads delightfully British, but in a fashion that suggests that England isn’t just Jane Austen or Charles Dickens. It’s also Doctor Who, Blake’s Seven, Being Human, Law and Order: UK, and Luther. It’s upper crust and working class. It’s a mix of past and present. Even deeper, it’s the everyday lives of Britons, not all N ...more
May 07, 2014 Felicia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-paranormal
Well, I'm always looking for a great Urban fantasy book series, and this one is another one I'll be following with joy! Very much in the style of Harry Dresden, and my other fave, the Alex Verus series. This series is set in modern-day London, and features a black male lead character, who's a cop, and finds himself drafted into the magical investigation unit arm of the police. I love the sensibility of this book, it's incredibly dark at the same time, quippy! The worldbuilding is very interestin ...more
Oct 29, 2014 Carol. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: urban fantasy lovers, detective fans
Recommended to Carol. by: FA
I enjoyed this book, so much that I didn't want to review it right away because I was still immersed in Peter Grant's London. It's the urban fantasy take on the detective novel, a police procedural that gives a close-up view of a modern London with undercurrents of magic and magical beings. I love the tone of this book--it's wry and humorous, but doesn't let the humor take over the scene. It's one thing to be ready with a quick line, another entirely to go through one's entire life wisecracking, ...more
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

I’m a fan of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, even though I got tired and stopped reading after #9. After a while the stories became too repetitive and I didn’t see any significant growth in Harry’s character. His smart-ass comments that were amusing in the earlier books started getting annoying towards the end.

In the hopes I would find a fun read similar to the Dresden books, I picked up Midnight Riot. It wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t a great one either. Peter Gr
Lois Bujold
Dec 19, 2012 Lois Bujold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rivers of London (U.S. title: Midnight Riot) by Ben Aaronovitch, 2011

I received this book as a gift a rather long time ago. It sat in my to-be-read pile for far too long because, I am embarrassed to admit, of its cover, which looked dreary and literary.

I should instead have looked at the first page, which opens:

“It started at one thirty on a cold Tuesday morning in January when Martin Turner, street performer and, in his own words, apprentice gigolo, tripped over a body in front of the West P
Thoughts on the book:
my review.

Thoughts on the audio version:

As many people have noted, Kobna Holbrook Smith is a fabulous reader. Turns out he is an actor and director is well, with a long list of tv credits, which is kind of a bummer because I hope he continues to have time for the Peter Grant series.

Holbrook Smith is clearly a talented voice actor who can understandably convey a range of London accents, from that of an 19th century itenerant to Nightingale's 'posh' early 20th century to curre
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
All By My Totally Lonesome Buddy Read with without the MacHalo Freaks they abandoned me on this one. What a bunch of egotistical, ungrateful nutcases.

DNF at 49%.

Because life is too short to read boring books about flat, dull, unemotional, cardboard-like characters who act like they're twelve year olds *waves gleefully at Peter Grant*

And because I have hot dudes things to do, places to go, people to aggravate and all that crap. And Stuff.

»» Come on, Edward, time to bail.

PS: I'll unleash the
Will M.
Dec 27, 2014 Will M. rated it liked it
Recommended to Will by: Carol.
Peter Grant dreams of becoming a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Being granted the dreadful assignment of Case Progression Unit, Grant did everything he could so that he may be promoted to detective. His uncanny ability of seeing ghosts was his ticket to his dream. Brutal murders lurk in the city and the gods apparently meddles too.

Peter Grant was really likeable, but only during the first half of the novel. I got bored after about 50% because nothing grand was happening. Nothing gru
Richard Derus
Jun 27, 2013 Richard Derus rated it liked it
UPDATE 27 June 2013: A TV series is on the way! Maybe 2014!

Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with
Jun 26, 2011 Catie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Catie by: Regina
I have to admit that a moderate portion of my liking for this book is probably due to the fact that I am one of those Americans who is instantly charmed when faced with a page of British slang and references. I don’t know if it’s in the genetic memory or what, but I pathetically cannot help myself! Guh…it’s like thar speakin’ mah language but diffrint! However, this book isn’t just a compendium of British slang. I found quite a lot more to love within these pages.

Peter Grant is a young constable
Jul 27, 2011 new_user rated it liked it
Recommended to new_user by: Dr. Who fans
Ben Aaronovitch is funny. Midnight Riot's appeal stems from protagonist Peter Grant's humor:
"Do we have a plan B?"
"Molly can do haemomancy," said Nightingale [...] "It might be possible to find [the suspect] that way."
"Why can’t we do it that way now?" I asked.
"Because the odds are five to one against you surviving the experience," said Nightingale.
"So, yeah," I said. "Probably best not to do it that way now, then."
Aaronovitch delivers on his claims and doesn't make the mistake of claiming t
Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 25, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
5 Silver Stars as opposed to Gold star....see the comments.

Another hard to rate book in that I can't really say I like it as much as my favorite books...but it it deserves more than 4 stars. So...5 stars, but not quite the top of my 5 star rating (?).

This is an urban fantasy, a genre that's become so chock full lately that you can't swing a kobold without hitting a new one. Most are(sadly) of the mediocre vein but every now and then you stumble on (or as in this case are directed by a friend on
Aug 23, 2013 Michael rated it liked it
I was suitably charmed but not wowed by this urban fantasy set in London. Yet the young hero, Constable Peter Grant captured my affection and respect and I believe from what I hear that the series gets better.

Rather than the flash and pizzazz shown by wizard Harry Dresden waging desperate war against legions of bizarre magical creatures in Butcher’s series, this tale thrives mostly on conventional police procedural efforts that home in on a single powerful ghost. By contrast, I found it easier t
Sep 21, 2012 Cyna rated it it was ok

Goddammit. I wanted to like this one. I really, really, really did. It has a lot going for it. Midnight Riot, also known as Rivers of London across the pond, has, while not the most original premise, certainly an engaging voice. It's got that dry British humor going on, an initially likable hero, an intriguing world and diverse cast, a science(ish)-based magic system, and a POC protagonist who doesn't read like a white guy with a paint job. It was close, SO CLOSE, to enjoyable.

Unfortunately, it
Jan 07, 2011 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can never keep the new shelf classifications straight, but this has to be a {moderately} dark urban fantasy. It's dark the way Harry Dresden is dark, not like Felix Castor or John Constantine. Bad things happen, but the world itself is not an absolute bastard which wants you to die with a pitchfork in your eye.

I read it. I enjoyed it muchly. I want more from Ben Aaronovitch, soon, please, because my next read is about free market economics and the false rhetorics of capitalism in the early 21s
Milda Page Runner
Oct 16, 2015 Milda Page Runner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who can appreciate inteligent fantasy with a spark of british humour
Recommended to Milda by: Carol.
Wow! What can I say - I just found my favourite urban fantasy writer.
There is no fake bravado. There is no unsensible nearly suicidal notion to attack any bigger dog on sight which seems to be so common for urban fantasy heroes. Main character's voice is polite!, inteligent and sincere. And often funny, hilarious even. The story has just the right amount of action, suspence, humour, romance, horror, sarcasm, science and magic to make it an unbelievably hard to put down book.
There is a lot of bri
[3.5 Stars] Things I liked about this book: the detailed writing, the unique mystery, the crazy ghosts, Grant NOT being a average white male, and just the overall depth of detail Aaronovitch goes into when describing London. I also loved how this book definitely feels distinctly "British," and I apologize if that is presumptuous of me to say (considering I am not in fact British). There is a lot to love about this book when you think about the story, and I can really see how the stories will jus ...more
Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
Jul 02, 2013 Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of urban fantasy
What is that? Ghosts in London? WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY?! It's like insta-love for me. London + Ghosts just works.

The Peter Grant books are easily my favourite contemporary urban fantasies.

They're chock full of EVERYTHING in a world that's so real and believable.

I love the way modern culture is woven in - especially mentions of Harry Potter (hello, magic!). I love the way that I know this London. Rivers of London takes the landmarks that everyone who has visited London for even a day will know, and m
Jun 30, 2011 Lou rated it liked it
Once upon a time there was a Mama River and a Papa River and a Copper called Peter.
Jokes aside there really are these characters in the story.
This story serves up a concoction consisting of the humor of Terry Pratchett, a dice of Neil Gaiman's characters and plot and finally a fixer kind of guy and supernatural goings on from Jim Butcher.
Peter is a copper of mixed race ethnicity his mother was a cleaner, his father was a drug addict and grew up in a council estate. He became a down to earth ki
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Note: This book is AKA Midnight Riot in the US. Review originally posted at The BiblioSanctum.

I didn't even get past a quarter of the way through this book before I thought to myself, "Okay, this one is totally going on my 'favorites' shelf." In a word, it was fun. So, so fun. I really can't think of any other book in recent memory that has made me laugh out loud so much.

It definitely helps if you're a fan of the kind of paranormal action-adventures by Jim Butcher or similar authors, but someho
Jul 07, 2013 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: blog
Peter Grant is a Probationary Constable in London who, despite his dreams of being a detective, possesses a propensity for detail and a knack for paperwork that makes him the perfect candidate for the Case Progression Unit (a department that does the endless paperwork on behalf of "real" detectives). Before he's doomed to a pallid indoor office complexion and a life of carpal tunnel syndrome, he receives a breakthrough in a significant case. Only one problem: it's from a ghost. And thus begins P ...more

4-1/2 stars, rounded up.

This was a fantastic combination of familiar and occasionally derivative fantasy/urban fantasy elements (yeah, hate to say it, but it's true), mixed with the wry, absurd, and brilliant. I loved nearly every word of this book. I was very worried that my expectations were too high, based on all the raves from friends, but it managed to live up to all my hopes.

I'll try to write an expanded review later. :-)
Brendon Schrodinger
Urban Fantasy

Two words that are enough to send me running in the opposite direction. Sparkly vampires, werewolves with 'tude and ghosts with unresolved daddy issues. Along with Paranormal Romance, it's one of those sub-genres that is ruining the Fantasy/SF section of bookshops and is an embarrassment to all decent book lovers out there. Sure we should be supportive of all book loving, but really the fans are the people who are filling Goodreads with reviews entirely made of a series of gifs. Yea
May 25, 2016 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vrlo zabavna urbana fantazija BEZ vampira i vukodlaka. O happy day. Mislim vampiri se spminju ali vise marginalno a od vukadlaka za sada nema ni dlake. Ovde smo za sada vise fokusirani na duhove i na gluposti koji oni prave.

Sva desavanja su smestena u savremeni London, i on je kao lokacija odlicno iskoriscen. Koristeci opise, naglaske, komentare itd. Ben nas uspesno uvlaci u grad i stvarno se dobija osecaj da smo tamo i da se upoznajemo sa necim ko da smo ga licno posetili. Naravno to ume da ode
May 19, 2011 Regina rated it really liked it
3.75 stars. Midnight Riot is great start to a series and also is simply a fabulous new series for the urban fantasy world. This book is funny, not silly funny like Three's Company, but dry funny with an amazing delivery. Ben Aaronvitch makes very witty observations about human nature and delivers in such a way that it is funny. At the same time, he sets up an intriguing urban fantasy world, playing on existing mythology and bringing new stuff in. He even makes a few Harry Potter jokes.

The main c
Peter Grant is awesome! It's not even that he's that awesome actually, but I loved this book!

It's really hard not to compare this to the Dresden Files since they're both urban fantasy murder mystery magic stories and as much as I loved Harry, and I do love Harry, I have to say that if I was forced to choose I'd pick Peter. That said I think anyone who likes the Dresden Files is likely to enjoy this too.

Ben Aaronovitch has a beautiful style and he's become one of my new favourite authors even t
Aug 08, 2016 Orient rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody, who like magic, action and detectives
Recommended to Orient by: Milda Page Runner
This night I had a problem to solve: to read this book till the end or to sleep. And I thought: hell, why do I need sleep when I’m on a date with Peter Grant <3

The idea to present an ordinary human, who reveals super powers in himself, is not quite new, but in “Rivers of London”, the plot, the setting, and the main characters are new and interesting to me and they definitely helped me to have an extremely fun reading experience.

Ben Aaronovitch surprised me with a wise plot, because I found a
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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)
  • Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2)
  • Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant #3)
  • Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4)
  • Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant, #5)
  • The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant, #6)

Share This Book

“ I gave the prescribed Metropolitan Police "first greeting".
"Oi!" I said "What do you think you're doing?”
“Carved above the lintel were the words SCIENTIA POTESTAS EST. Science points east, I wondered? Science is portentous, yes? Science protests too much. Scientific potatoes rule. Had I stumbled on the lair of dangerous plant geneticists?” 81 likes
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