Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Rivers of London #3

Whispers Under Ground

Rate this book
An Alternate Cover edition can be found here

In Tufnell Park, North London, a set of railway tracks run under a school playground, leading to and from King's Cross. Wet, filthy, dangerous. Lovely place. And one Sunday before Christmas, Abigail Kamara, one of my endless brood of cousins, dragged me and my long-suffering colleague Lesley May down there to look for a ghost.

We found one.

And that was that, I thought come Monday. First case of the day: Person Unknown has been stabbed to death on the tracks at Baker Street Underground. Magic may have been involved. Sure enough, the weapon turns out to be saturated in the tell-tale traces left by magic.

But Person Unknown turns out to be the son of a US senator, so before you can say "international incident", FBI agent Kimberley Reynolds and her firmly held religious beliefs are on my case.

And down in the dark, in the Tube tunnels of London, along with the buried rivers and remnants of Victorian sewer systems, I'm hearing some really strange things...

303 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published June 21, 2012

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Ben Aaronovitch

138 books11.4k followers
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.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
18,474 (34%)
4 stars
25,122 (47%)
3 stars
8,222 (15%)
2 stars
785 (1%)
1 star
200 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,226 reviews
Profile Image for carol..
1,515 reviews7,705 followers
June 1, 2022
My review of the story

Thoughts for the audio version narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith:

Brilliant. There's nothing more I can say. I wanted to sit and binge-listen, but was afraid my muscles would atrophy during the hours it would take to listen at normal speed. In the third book, Leslie's voice is more intelligible, presumably the result of her surgeries. Voicing of Zach the half-fae had me laughing. Thanks to Dr. Walid, I'm pretty sure I could do a Scottish brogue if I tried. The voicing of the American, Reynolds, seemed a bit off to me, not sure if that was a character issue or a voicing issue. Peter's internal asides were nicely voiced, giving me better appreciation perhaps even than reading. There's something about the writing that seems lacking in the punctuation that would help determine the pauses and asides, and Holdbrook-Smith's reading brings out the inflection the words need. Nightingale's voice comes into its own here.

I will note one thing about listening to the series as an American. There's a fair amount of British slang and, coupled with unfamiliar localities and magical terms, means I occasionally lose a word or two. Reading during the audio helped clear a couple of items up, including when Zach called the team "the bloody Issacs."

It was almost as if Aaronvitch wrote with Holdbrook-Smith's reading in mind. Such an excellent fusion of talents. I had to make myself stop and catch up on some of my other reading, because I was ready to continue the series full-speed (and because I thought my acquired accent was sounding a little strange). Also bought to re-listen to on a road trip, because it's just that good (and face it: Illinois is just that boring).

Rating: all the stars

Re-listened October 2016
Re-listened August 2018
Re-listened May 2022

You know how some kids have that favorite bedtime story they listen to again and again? Apparently, that's me, age (cough, cough).
Profile Image for Nataliya.
726 reviews11.5k followers
August 5, 2016
"Was it better to die in happy ignorance or terrified knowledge? The answer, if you’re a Londoner, is that it’s better not to die at all."
This series does what most urban fantasies avoid¹ - it seamlessly integrates the 'urban' and the 'fantastical' parts, creating a lovely well-crafted enjoyable reading experience that remains grounded in reality, with just the right touch of whimsy to keep it moving along, *nothing to see here*. (Don't you just loooove my pathetic attempts at police humor? Wait until I come up with some cops/donuts jokes, really!)
¹ When I think of my favorite magic-meets-real-world stories, the overpowering focus is always on the magical bits - after all, isn't that what makes them exciting? The books I'm thinking about include the Dresden books, Gaiman's Neverwhere, all the Harry Potter books (by the way, one of the covers for this book includes the blurb of it being a blend of CSI and Harry Potter, cue the eyeroll from me), and even the much-disliked by me Miéville's Kraken.

Unlike the abovementioned trend (and maybe it's the fault of my way of selecting my pleasure reads, after all), Whispers Underground is first and foremost very much a police procedural that just happens to intersect with the slightly more unusual aspects of London life (the ones that include river goddesses, goblins and occasionally strange creatures equipped with vagina dentata, no less).
It gave me “the eye”— the fearsome gaze that sheepdogs use to keep their charges in line. But I gave it “the look”— the stare that policemen use to keep members of the public in a state of randomized guilt.
But with the exception of employing Peter Grant of the Folly (the London-based magical crime squad that as of this book has been expanded to full *THREE* members!), the police approach to investigating a suspicious murder of a young American university student in the depths of London Underground has very little of magical wand-waving and very much of old-fashioned suspect-questioning, report-writing, and the down-and-dirty (in this book, pretty much literally) exploration of the less savory part of the city, including but not limited to London sewers. (Yes, this book gives you quite a literal look at what you can refer to as London's underbelly. Experience comes complete with the description of the feces-tinged smell as a side bonus).

The aforementioned London sewers. Actually, they look rather cool, don't they?

You know, far from magic-be-all approach, it presents policing as actual work, firmly grounded in the real-world policing techniques and approaches. And I love it.
In all honesty, magic itself in this series is actually quite *grounded* as well - very rational and scientific from what we've seen so far, which is reflected in the frequent comparisons that Peter Grant draws between it and science:

"So just chalk it up to pixie dust or quantum entanglement, which was the same thing as pixie dust except with the word “quantum” in it."

"Low sample size— one of the reasons why magic and science are hard to reconcile."
In the same vein, Peter Grant is first and foremost a twenty-something London policeman and a guy well-versed in popular culture with its niches for nerdiness-loving souls, and only secondarily an apprentice wizard with propensity for treating magic as a branch of science that ought to be experimented with (to the utmost chagrin of his old-fashioned master mentor) and with a still very steep learning curve ahead of him.
"Now, you could literally fill two whole libraries, complete with card files, reference sections, and a brass ladder thing that whooshes around on rails with everything I don’t know about magic."
I've talked a lot about my eternal love for Peter Grant and his nerdy dorky brand of dry and frequently self-deprecating humor that shines on every single page of this book and, believe it or not, never feels out of place. And I will say it again - it is the hilarious and smart narrative voice that makes these books truly shine.
"That was Seawoll," she said. "Stephanopoulos is on her way down and you’re not to do anything stupid until she gets here."

You burn down one central London tourist attraction, I thought, and they never let you forget it.
Let me give you some examples of the humor that made me laugh out loud in the hospital cafeteria while I was stealing a few precious minutes to read while stocking up on the life-saving caffeinated drinks to sustain my brain through the endless hospital shift hours (and these sudden outbursts of giggles probably caused a fair share of confused looks from some of my patients who were momentarily distracted from responding to their substance-fueled internal stimuli by my sheer joy).

Just like its predecessors, this book boasts some exquisitely politically correct humor (forget about 'black magicians' - they are, to a mixed-race Peter, simply "ethically challenged") and then in true European fashion some humor that that is painfully not politically correct ("My dad was a fairy,” said [a character]. “And by that I don’t mean he dressed well and enjoyed musical theatre.”)

There is obligatory irreverent homage to the books that helped inspire it and the dorky nerdy culture in which Peter Grant thrives, illustrated in this alcohol-fueled exchange between Peter and his raised-on-Sophie-Kinsella-books and (supposedly) not well-versed in the Dungeons and Drangons rules co-apprentice Lesley:
"You’re so boring," she said. "You’d think a copper who was a wizard would be more interesting. Harry Potter wasn’t this boring. I bet Gandalf could drink you under the table."

Probably true, but I don’t remember the bit where Hermione gets so wicked drunk that Harry has to pull the broomstick over on Buckingham Palace Road just so she can be sick in the gutter.
As any book featuring wizarding apprentices, this one, of course, cannot be complete without featuring our heroes' magical mentors - I mean, how can one do without one? You know the types - the grey-haired bearded wizened sages (think your average Gandalf and Dumbledore here) that give all kinds of wisdom-infused life-saving advice. Like this, coming from Peter's mentor Nightingale:

"This should give you some protection from a fireball while you stage a tactical withdrawal." By which he meant run like fuck.
“Nightingale turned up,” she said. “He was hoping to shout at you a bit to show his affection in a gruff manly and safely nongay way but you were asleep so he just sort of milled around for a while and then off he went.”
There is cultural awareness here, which helps us, the non-British folk, learn things about, well, the British folk. And while we're at it, about the British folk that comprises Britain's police force. Which, I think, differs quite a bit from the image we are fed by the shows like CSI and stuff, complete with the gun-wielding determined and grim dudes and dudettes wearing cool clothes and flashing their badges in a very professional way.
"Me and Lesley, being both English and police, managed to avoid any outward sign of the massive sense of relief we felt."
"Leave the police alone in a room for five minutes and we start looking in drawers, locked or otherwise. It's a terrible habit."

And one of my favorites, regarding the difference between the "official police speak" and the normal way of expressing things (and I'm not stranger myself to using big words to convey a simple thing in my profession):

Thus, “We did a joint evaluation of video evidence encompassing all possible access points in conjunction with BTP and CLP, and despite widening the parameters of our assessment to include registered and nonregistered cameras in the high probability zones, we have as yet to achieve a positive identification of James Gallagher prior to his appearance at Baker Street” becomes: “We’ve checked every CCTV camera in the system and it’s as if the fucker beamed down from the Starship Enterprise.”
Funny aside, this book had a few quite touching (although, thankfully, never sappy) moments between Peter and Lesley - the moments underscoring the old sincere friendship that the two used to share and that they seem to be restoring as they both become more used to the damage Lesley sustained over the course of the first book in the series. I cherished these moments of banter and bonding and some (almost unexpected for not always mature Peter) moments of touching adult sadness:
"It wasn’t until I looked away that I realized I’d read her expression off her bare face without reacting to what her face had become."
All in all, this series is very much worth picking up. It will not be a life-changing experience, but it will provide a few hours of happily chuckling at the well-written humorous narrative - and sometimes that is all you need. 4 stars and impatient foot-tapping in the wait for the next book in the series.
“You find out that magic and spirits and ghosts are all real,” she said. “And you’re just fine with that? You just accept it?” “It helps that I’ve got a scientific brain,” I said. “How can that possibly help?” “I met a ghost face-to-face,” I said with more calmness than I’d felt at the time. “It would have been stupid to pretend it didn’t exist.”
In a bit of shameless self-promotion - for those of you who for whatever reason care about my ramblings about the first two books in the Peter Grant series, my reviews of them are here and here.
My review of the fourth book, Broken Homes, is here.
Profile Image for carol..
1,515 reviews7,705 followers
October 28, 2018

Well, I was going to work on my paper today. But then this arrived in the mail, hardcover & signed, direct from London. How could I resist? Within pages I was chuckling aloud, but also relishing the developing feeling of danger.

I can tell you now what will happen. Someday, I'm going to plan a trip to London, and like a complete book nerd, I will attempt to trace down the steps Peter Grant takes in solving these cases. Yes, the books are that good, and the only things hindering my complete understanding are a lack of fluency in Englishisms and knowledge of London geography. Besides, this is the third UF book I've read that has the London sewers as a significant location; I'd rather like to get a sense of what its about.

Once again, Aaronovich blends police procedural, magic and humor with delicious results. He achieves a clever, wry tone that acknowledges foolishness, injustice, and irony, and still manages to laugh. Within pages, I was chuckling. Never fear, however, that one-liners override thoughtful characterization and an interesting mystery.

There's a little less magical exploration in this one, and a little more emphasis on the mystery. Leslie starts coming out of her self-imposed exile to play co-detective. More review when I get to re-reading.

Meanwhile, some nice little lines:

"But that meant that in the event of a work-related call Molly would answer the phone downstairs and then inform me by silently standing in my bedroom doorways until I woke up out of sheer creepiness."

"Rising out of the lights was the three-metre statue of Sherlock Holmes complete with deerstalker and hash pipe--there to oversee our detective work and ensure that it was held to the highest fictional standards."

"'If you have to walk the tracks with the juice on then you stay off the sleepers. they're slippery. You slip, you fall, you put your hands out and zap.'
'Zap,' I said. 'That's the technical term for it, is it? What do you call someone who's been zapped?'
'Mr. Crispy,' said Kumar."

Cross posted at http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2013/0...
Profile Image for Annet.
570 reviews714 followers
September 28, 2019
Fun & magical, those weird books of Ben Aaronovitch about DC Grant, young policeman and apprentice magician! Loved it. Out of this world. This series.... had to get used to it, but it's hilariously good and so much underground humor :-)
Not my normal cup of tea but thanks to Caro who recommended this series to me. And I recommend it!
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
857 reviews1,727 followers
January 5, 2020

The more I read these books, the more I fall in love with Peter and his banter with other characters (old & new). A string of new characters were introduced here and they blended very well with story and old crew. Eager to see what test Aaronovitch put Peter through.
Profile Image for Adina.
793 reviews3,061 followers
January 18, 2019
I do not know how, but I always end up giving a Peter Grant novel 4 stars although I am not usually satisfied with the plot construction. I guess it is the humour which is right up my alley, the characters which are diverse and interesting and last but not least, London as a setting.

This time the setting is the London Underground and the London Sewers. It involves some magical pottery, an art gallery, some strange underground dwellers and a lot of shit (literally).

The first "touristic attraction" that I visited in London were the underground tunnels as I was detrained. It was July 2005 and it was my first day of my first trip to the UK and London. Does that date ring any bells? I was travelling by tube from the airport to the hotel when the train stoped. After two wonderful hours spend in the tunnels we were told we have to be detrained and reach the following stop by foot. While we slowly advanced from the back of the train to the front, some of us got phone signal and we found out that a terrorist attack took place while we were there and that was the reason we were stopped. Until then we had a great time, people started to talk to each other and make jokes, especially about the famous underground rats. After we found out about the attack, people became more serious but everybody urged us to continue our holiday and enjoy ourselves. As such, I particularly enjoyed this volume since I had a first hand experience with the novel's setting.
Profile Image for Lois Bujold.
Author 161 books37.6k followers
December 30, 2012
The advantage of being a semiretired adult is that there is nobody around who can force one to stop reading and go to sleep. The disadvantage of same is the four hours of daylight left that one confronts when crawling out of bed the next afternoon...

This series, surer now perhaps of its survival to the end of the broadcast season, seems to be settling in for a good run. More lavish invention with Peter, Lesley, Thomas, the Folly, and of course London. I am happy with this; not for me the readerly demand, so crazy-making to series writers, of "Each one better than all the others!"

There is a, hm, rhythm, spotted especially in Japanese animation series, where about 5 or 6 episodes along the forward momentum of the plot arcs pause to fill in assorted characters' backstories. This works well for character-centered tales, since such mysteries-of-persons, as contrasted with mysteries-of-plot, are just as interesting if not more so when read backwards as forwards. Which is to say, I would sit still for any amount of backstory about Detective Inspector Nightingale, who has, after all, had time to accumulate a large supply. Although the little squibs doled out in this volume were lovely.

Such as the throw-away remarks about Nightingale's adventures chasing German archeologists in Tibet in 1938. I don't expect that one to go anywhere, necessarily, although it did give me a flashback, on more than one level, to a line in another book altogether, Edward Gorey's little classic The Unstrung Harp: "Even the voice of the omniscient author can hardly afford to interject a seemingly pointless anecdote concerning Ladderback in Tibet when the other characters are feverishly engaged in wondering whether to have the pond at Disshiver Cottage dragged or not."

There is an intrinsic problem with maintaining suspense about the main viewpoint character being, say, buried alive, or undergoing any other peril, when the book is written in first person past tense. Just sayin'. (This does not apply, of course, to any other character in the tale undergoing peril.) Nevertheless, "how will he?" can be as interesting a question as "will he?", if handled properly.

I am pleased with what the author is doing so far with the character of Lesley. The back cover blurb was most misleading about the guest-star FBI agent; she ended up more of a card that is palmed for later than a major actor or obstruction in this present plot. This would have worked fine if I'd encountered her just as the author presented her, without the unneeded misconceptions. But that's not the book's fault.

I was also pleased to find out that the next one is in the pipeline: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16...

Onwards to June, then.

Ta, L.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,908 followers
August 29, 2021
Re-read 8/29/21:

Amusing to see the team up with the Americans once again. Totally fascinating art world, too.

Original Review:

I've mentioned how these books go down as smooth as jazz, and there's a lot of honesty in it, although the jazz bits are downplayed almost entirely in this book in favor of a little traditional artistic murder.

Not that art is being murdered, though that certainly might be the case, or that the artists might be doing the murdering, which also might be the case, or that the murder was done in such a way as to be considered artistic, which is certainly not the case.

But above all, this is a fantastic police procedural with wonderful characters dealing with everyday life on the force, of working around disabilities every day on the job (poor Lesley with her missing face), of being "proper" police with very droll humor, of catching the bad guys.

The magic is just integrated matter-of-fact. Peter's a wizard on the force. Lesley has begun to learn magic, too, but she has a bit more of a drive, I think, with her whole missing face bit. As for the magic bits, they're really rather understated and made smooth and delightful. Magical races are just a part of London and it's really all about building relationships and contacts and informants. This IS, after all, a police procedural. :)

The story is a lot of what you might expect out of one, too, with lots of talking and footwork, but I think what I enjoyed most about the book is the nerdy humor. Our copper Peter Grant loves his Cthulhu RPG, his LoTR, and his sophisticated puking Hermione jokes. :)

These aren't a flashy UF. They're solid and deeply grounded in normal London life. It's very smooth and enjoyable. :) As they say, the devil is in the details, and that's where this shines. :)
Profile Image for Philip.
497 reviews666 followers
May 10, 2017
3.5ish stars.

Another solid entry in a very enjoyable UF series.

It's always a pleasure to spend some time with Peter Grant and company. Some things I particularly like about this book:
- Leslie is back! And I love that her... condition... really isn't a huge deal. It wasn't used to turn her into a tragic victim, but it also wasn't glossed over and essentially "fixed" overnight. Cool to see her growing as a practitioner as well.

- There are always several great new characters with each installment, this one including Zach Palmer, Sergeant Kumar, Agent Reynolds and Abigail who it appears we'll see more of...

- The magical world is slowly but surely expanding.

- Aaronovitch knows how to tickle my funny bone. This is my kind of humor- wry, ironic, clever. There are some wonderful one-liners.

- Kobna Holdbrook-Smith delivers as always as the audiobook performer. He is Peter Grant. I can't help but feel like Aaronovitch writes specifically for Holdbrook-Smith to narrate. The only issue I have is with Agent Reynolds's American accent, but I can only assume it's as difficult for an Englishman to put on an American accent as it is for me to attempt an English one.

I wish there was a little bit more magical exploration on Peter's part and I'm still missing Beverley and hope she returns at some point. :'(

Also this was my 50th book this year thus fulfilling my annual goal!

Profile Image for William Gwynne.
344 reviews1,315 followers
June 20, 2022
I now have a YouTube channel that I run with my brother, called 'The Brothers Gwynne'. Check it out - The Brothers Gwynne

“This is why magic is worse even than quantum physics. Because, while both spit in the eye of common sense, I've never yet had a Higgs bosun turn up and try to have a conversation with me.”

So, finished the third instalment in the Rivers of London, an urban fantasy series that is cracking up to be the owner of some of the most memorable characters and to be consistently entertaining and intriguing and humorous.

Again, the Audible narration from Kobna Holdbrook-Smith was fantastic. He brought to life the new interesting investigation that begins, evolves and concludes across Whispers Underground. This new case, “Operation Matchbox”, acts as a catalyst for Peter Grant to explore more of the magical underbelly to Ben Aaronovitch’s London, whilst maintaining and including the charm and attraction to characters and places previously introduced in the first two instalments of this series.

“Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam. I will either find a way, or make one”

Ben Aaronovitch’s humour continues to make itself known in this instalment. As Peter Grant is becoming more familiar with his magical surroundings, he is becoming even wittier, with his growing knowledge of magic allowing for both interesting character growth as well as presenting a different perspective in each instalment of this series so far. From references to Hannibal ^, to Beauty and the Beast, you can feel the light-hearted tone to much of what Ben Aaronovitch is writing, as well as the gravity to the rest.

A really good read and another entertaining part of this series that shows Ben Aaronovitch delivers with consistently interesting and well-crafted stories, with fleshed out characters acting at the heart of his natural and organic stories set in London, the place he himself is so, so passionate about. I felt that the conclusion of this instalment faltered, more so than Rivers of London or Moon Over Soho, and that some aspects were not attributed enough attention, but there were also some great new characters, and the overall tone and execution of Whispers Underground still paces this as an enjoyable read.

Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
521 reviews34.4k followers
July 17, 2022
I’m on BookTube! =)

”Practically the whole point of being police is that you don’t gather information covertly. You’re supposed to turn up on people’s doorsteps, terrify them with the sheer majesty of your authority, and keep asking questions until they tell you what you want to know.”

I think I have a rather mixed relationship with this urban fantasy series because on the one hand I want to know how it continues and on the other hand I never seem to be able to bring myself to pick up the next book. *lol* Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have to be in the right mood to read this series and as it seems my “right mood” only occurs about once a year? XD Regardless of my weird reading habits I always enjoy the series when I pick it up and I when it comes down to it this is the most important thing, right?

"Like young men from the dawn of time I decided to choose the risk of death over certain humiliation."

Anyway! Let’s get back to my actual review of this book: It was nice to be back in Peter’s world and I had a fun time following his journey into the underground of London. The subway system of London is fascinating and I was totally intrigued by the idea of discovering it through Peter’s eyes. Also I think I learned a couple of things along the way because I had no idea how complex the underground system actually is. So this aspect of the book was pretty awesome and I loved to read about it. Also now that it’s the third book Peter seems to be more comfortable in his skin and it was nice to see that he made progress with his studies and that it was easier for him to understand magic and how it works. =)

"Don't patronise me,"
"I'll buy you a cake," I said.
He sat up like a small dog. "Really?"
"If you go sit over there," I said, and he did. I turned to Reynolds. "I can see why you consider him a suspect."

Of course there were also a couple of new characters that were introduced along the way and Zach and Reynolds were both a lot of fun to read about. XD The main plot that has been going on since book one was continued too l and I personally think that it’s nice that it’s always a part of every individual book as well. It builds up the series and it’s good to have some sort of central theme that runs like a thread throughout all of the books. As for the plot in this book: I think it could have been more? I dunno, there was this amazing setting in the underground but for some reason the author didn’t explore it enough. There were so many possibilities to go about this and for me the plot kinda fell flat which is really sad. Still, it might not have been the best book I ever read but it also wasn’t the worst and I think my rating of 3,5 stars definitely reflects that. Nightingale is still a mystery to me and I really would love to get more info about him but so far I didn’t have any luck. Let’s hope there will be more about him in the next book?! =)


All told “Whispers Underground” was an enjoyable read and easy to get through. I loved to find out more about London’s underground system and the humour in this series is a really special brand. *lol* Still, I always feel like I’m left with even more questions after finishing another book of this series and it wasn’t any different with this one. So many questions and still no answers. Let’s hope some of my questions will be answered in book 4!


I can’t believe I finally read this book!!! *lol*
After all the thousand times I borrowed it from my library I actually finally read it and I really enjoyed it! I almost forgot how much fun urban fantasy can be. =) Let’s hope it won’t take me as long to pick up book 4! XD Loved the humour once again and Peter as well as Leslie are great characters.
I still love Nightingale the most though, maybe because he’s so mysterious. Haha! I dunno.

Full RTC soon! Stay tuned! ;-)


I've borrowed this book about a gazillion times from the library and always had to return it unread. But not this month. No, nopedy, nope! This time I'll read it and if it's the last thing I'll do. *lol*
I finally want to continue with this series and it's been way too long I read the last book.

Did you read this series already and if yes, did you enjoy it? =)

Find me on:
My Blog
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,145 reviews1,801 followers
July 16, 2018
As I sit here considering this book there's a part of me that wonders why I'm not more taken, more enthusiastic about this series. I can recommend it. It's a good series filled with good writing. I like the understated humor. I like the interaction with the world Aaronovitch has created and its denizens.

Somehow with all that I'm always, at best mildly enthusiastic about them. I read the first back when it came out in one of those reader copies with "NOT TO BE SOLD" written all over it. I liked it but it still took me years to pick the next 2 up. Reading this one I found that when I laid it aside I'd just not get back to it. I wasn't "dying" to finish the book.

In contrast when a new Jim Butcher Dresden book hits the stands I usually finish it in one sitting. I've been known to sit up to the "wee hours" with one of those.

Somehow in spite of all the pluses in these books I never move beyond mildly involved.

That said, as I mentioned before these are excellent books and I know that some readers devour them as I do the Dresden books. I can only account for it as a matter of taste.

Here we slide into the magical world connection with the case in a slightly oblique way when the body of a young man is found. The "Underground" of London is a huge factor here and we're going to get a tour of both the mundane and also the more unusual sides of said underground. Of course the rest of the police are not thrilled when they discover that the "odd squad" has to take part of in the investigation...common reaction. Things also get a little more complicated when it's discovered that the victim is an American, the son of a Senator. Because of this an FBI agent arrives to also...help.

As noted this is a well done book and I can heartily endorse it. While I've come to the conclusion that Mr. Aaronovitch will never be my favorite writer I do like his work. I'll probably regard his work as something I can go to when I'm simply looking for "a book to read". Others of you will I'm sure find him your all time favorite writer. I can tell he's that good.

As noted, I guess it's just a matter of taste.

Recommended, enjoy.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,851 reviews16.4k followers
February 9, 2018
The train kept a rollin’.

And by that I mean the binge reading of Ben Aaronovitch’s PETERGRANTAPALOOZA!

Aaronovitch’s 2012 entry into the smoothest UF series since EVER, and the third in the series, may be the best one yet. It’s like if Ben and Neil Gaiman and Tana French sat down over a pint or three and hammered out what is best in life, and no Cohen it’s not “to crush enemy, see him driven before you and to hear the lamentation of the vemen” – it’s to know that this book is only one in a series of HAVEATYOU and there’s more to read. AND, we get some Pratchett references so, there's that.

This episode finds our minimalistic fantasy crew tracking down the killer of a murdered American in the London underground and yes I mean the sewers. One of the many cool as a sea cucumber elements of this UF series is the overwhelming, and charmingly so, evidence of the writer’s love of his city. Each book has been something of a romance with his digs and it shows most of all here, with Grant and Leslie investigating the underground art world of London.

Maybe best of all, the author continues to expand his urban magic world building. The reader is introduced to more magic and more mysterious characters and the “Faceless Man” continues to elude and entice. Like Batman Begins is to 1997’s Schumacher glam schlock fest Batman and Robin, Aaronovitch’s key to success is that he leans more towards the magic realism side of the genre and leaves the rainbow unicorns for Disney.

I’m like a fat kid in the fast food drive thru line, gimme more! Super size it!

Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,125 reviews605 followers
August 18, 2017
The discovery of the body of an American student at Baker Street tube station leads Peter Grant, apprentice Wizard on the hunt for a rogue magician both above and below ground. I love these books for their sense of magic as well as their sense of humour. The author keeps coming up with new characters and new magic in the streets of London and it is all very entertaining. Peter and his off-sider Lesley are joined by a FBI agent for this one so it's fun to watch her be initiated into their world.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,158 reviews2,007 followers
March 26, 2016
This is the third book in the series and either they keep getting better or the characters are growing on me the more I read. Or maybe both. Certainly this book was very funny, laugh aloud funny actually usually due to the main character's dry comments about anything and everything. I always love a book set in London especially when it includes lots of facts (and fictions too) about old London. Well this story includes some bits about a very old London indeed so I was well satisfied. I have been listening to this series on audio and the presentation has been so good I intend to search out the next audiobook and start reading it straight away:)
Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,450 reviews12.8k followers
July 6, 2018
Somebody’s murdered - whodunit?

Doesn’t sound like much of a story does it? It’s not. Honestly, I was gobsmacked that Ben Aaronovitch got a 400+ page novel out of something so insubstantial. Nothing. Happens. For hundreds of pages! This is how you write like a hack professionally, guys.

The narrative is rambling, unfocused, horribly overlong and utterly boring. A vague and unmemorable murder happens near the start and then for practically every scene after I kept wondering what relevance they had to the crime Peter and Lesley were investigating. The answer, I quickly found out, was not at all - tenuous at best. You could essentially read up to the murder then skip to the last thirty pages and not miss a damn thing!

Aaronovitch’s knowledge of London and the occasional tidbits of its esoteric history he imparts were the only interesting aspects of the book, and he does write in a smooth, easy style. Those are the only positive things I can say about Whispers Under Ground.

This series started so amazingly with that first book and yet already at this third book the quality is all but gone; it’s making me wonder, after the slightly better than this but still disappointing second book, that if I’ve seen the best this writer can offer and all that’s left is dross?
Profile Image for Lata.
3,499 reviews187 followers
August 3, 2021
2021-08: 4.5 stars. What can I really add, other than four of my favourite supporting characters appear in this book: Abigail, Guleed, Zach and Jaget. Abigail is full of attitude. Guleed and Peter share an eyeroll over a racist comment from a colleague. “Goblin Boy” Zach is just so hilariously put-upon. Spelunker Jaget is mostly unfazed by the weird bollocks, and I’m so glad about how Peter and he get along.

2017-02: 4.5 stars. In which, Peter Grant goes under ground, literally, in pursuit of a murderer.
-Lesley's at the Folly, learning from Nightingale. And learning some things faster, though Peter's still better at reading vestigia.
-Abigail Kamara from book 2 is back, looking for the Hogwarts Express. I'm so glad she's back.
-The wonderful Guleed is back!
-We meet Jaget Kumar, a member of the transit police, and keen explorer. I liked him.
-The tenacious FBI agent Reynolds is present; not sure what to make of her yet, but I'm pretty sure she wasn't exactly following rules during her investigation of the murder.
I like how seemingly inconsequential details from a previous book can figure to a larger degree in a following book and I love the way relationships are created and how they're relied on in following books as Peter deals with new weird happenings.

2016-12: Not going to analytical yet. Just giving it 5 stars because I liked the story, the expanding set of characters getting involved in the investigations (I want more Guleed and Kumar!) and the slow reveal of a deeper, darker story.
Lesley!! I really like her.
And Abigail And her Hogwarts Express.
And that cheeky, Dr Who-referencing, building envelope-noting, sarcastic bugger, Peter Grant.
Profile Image for Orient.
255 reviews207 followers
August 15, 2016
Imagine: You’re in the underground tunnel. You hear whispers. There is somebody lurking in the shadows...

The creature gets nearer and nearer and at last you hear….

Hello. It’s me :) just me...

That’s the way I feel about this book. The places were so proper and so awesome almost all the way through the book, but I lacked something gripping, suspenseful or more spooky. I longed for more magic.

We have a spooky underground

even with

and strange and some kind of dangerous people, silently lurking in the dark

It’s just a perfect place and atmosphere for a good spooky ride but I didn’t feel it. There was much going on and maybe this weakened the story. I continued to enjoy the exploring of the magical and interesting world under London. Also I loved the funny scenes when Zach visits The Folly and that Lesley did more stuff and revealed more of her character. Peter is still funny and he acts just like a normal guy, just with enchantment. I felt that he became more confident and not so dependable. Though I didn’t get much of Peter’s training as a wizard or the exciting cat-and-mouse play with the faceless enemy. Actually I thought that this book will continue the eye-to-eye chase, but it didn’t. Also I longed for more Molly and more Nightingale doing crazy, magical and gripping stuff. But maybe it’s just Mr. Aaronovitch plan to expand the Peter Grant series and leave these things for the future books.
All the untasty stuff didn’t weaken my interest to Peter Grant. So, book No. 4, here I come!
Profile Image for Paul.
2,306 reviews20 followers
June 26, 2017
I'm really enjoying this series and it really shouldn't come as a surprise as they're a geek's dream come true; at times it feels like there are more geek culture references than there is plot.

These books are also really funny, which took me slightly by surprise as nobody had mentioned they were funny in all the various reviews I read before starting the series. I think they'd really appeal to fans of Douglas Adams, Tom Holt or Terry Pratchett.

To be honest, I keep almost giving them a five star rating but each book has something about it that stops me from giving it full marks. With this third installment it's that the plot seemed to lack cohesion and pacing. The action beats fall in what seemed to me to be slightly odd places.

Other than that, though, I'm loving these books and am looking forward to starting book four later today.
Profile Image for Tracey.
1,075 reviews241 followers
November 28, 2018
Peter Grant.

I could almost make that my entire review.

I have a friend I met when we both worked at Barnes & Noble many years ago. She went off to school and then to New York to seek her fortunes, and she is a) blessed with a great many friends and b) an even worse correspondent than I am, so we don't email or call or any of that very often. Now and then, though, if we're going to be in the same city at the same time, we get together, and it's almost as though the time since the last time we met up never existed – we find our old footing and have a terrific time.

Peter Grant is a little like that. Months go by; he doesn't call, doesn't write, but then he bursts back into my life as if he never left and I have a few hours of tremendous fun with him. As fictional characters go, Peter is one of those I would most like to meet, share a pint and a kebab, go to a movie with, or watch the Christmas episode of Doctor Who. Tagging along on a murder investigation is fun, too, even when it involves a schlep through the sewers; there's where the "fictional" part comes in handy, as my schlep doesn't involve the stink.

I loved this book, because I got to hang out with Peter – and, yay, Lindsey, and Nightingale, and (briefly) Toby and Molly and Dr. Walid. I loved seeing Lindsey growing in her new role and continuing to recover from the events of the first book. I loved seeing her relationship with Peter beginning to heal as well. I loved the dialogue, both internal – Peter to reader – and between characters. And of course I loved the Doctor Who and Lord of the Rings and D&D and other geeky allusions liberally salted throughout the book – the quickest and surest way to my heart is to toss off a reference and let it float on by without explaining it into the ground: give me credit for being as clever and/or geeky as you are (or at least as skilful with a search engine).

Lesley stuck her head through the door, spotted us and came in. "Have you seen how much that man can eat?"
"He is a halfling," I said, which just got me blank looks from the pair of them.

The only thing I didn't love about this book, which brought it to a less-than-five-star rating (but probably more than four) was the plot. A young man is murdered in the London Underground, and the unusual murder weapon that Peter locates leads him and his cohort (because I wager he'd love to be said to have a cohort) off on a hunt – through London's tunnels and sewers via the art world, and don't think I'm not making that a metaphor in my head – for what may be a whole community of people (of one sort or another) who rarely see the light of day. It's not a criticism that there were no pyrotechnics on the scale of the other two books; explosions and riots and so forth would be a bit difficult to realistically insert into every single book, and something a bit more low-key (though still plenty adventuresome) was called for, I think, in this third volume.

I just figured it out: my problem with the book – which is only a problem in the way a small vanilla bean Coolatta is a problem: a large would be better – is that it feels a little like the stereotypical middle book in a trilogy. Character development continues; more characters are introduced; plot lines are carried over from the previous book as investigation continues into the "Little Crocodiles"; and the book ends with a wonderfully mysterious and tantalizing tip-off for the latter.

From the description: "No, the FBI has sent over a crack agent to help. She’s young, ambitious, beautiful . . . and a born-again Christian apt to view any magic as the work of the devil. Oh yeah—that’s going to go well." Huh? When does her born-again anti-magicness come into play? I remember nothing of that. That would have actually been an interesting wrinkle, but – actually, that's another small drawback for me. Special Agent Kimberly Reynolds of the FBI ("OoOOooh!") is sent to London to assist in the murder investigation I mentioned a few pages back there, because the victim was the son of a US ambassador. She is sharp and competent – and also, compared to the armed-with-a-baton British force, a bit gun-happy, and more than a bit out of her element, between the foreign country component and the supernatural component. But she remains largely undeveloped, almost an afterthought, remaining on the fringes for the most part – and then she goes home. Which could mean she'll be back…

Because I exhibited the persistence and annoyingness of a horsefly, I was granted (heh) this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review – many, many thanks.

Huh - Nightingale's tailor is real.
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,829 reviews358 followers
July 18, 2021
2021 Re-Read

***2021 Dog Days of Summer***

It's time for my summer theme and this year I have chosen to read books that include canine companions. In that spirit, I'm continuing on with Peter Grant and his faithful canine, Toby. Unfortunately Toby doesn't get much page time in this installment, but he does provide some warm welcomes when Peter returns to the Folly.

I still enjoy these books a great deal and I can't believe how many details had faded from my memory! It was very enjoyable to renew my acquaintance with Zack and FBI Agent Reynolds.

Original Review

If you haven’t yet met Peter Grant, main character of this series, may I suggest that you find the first book (Rivers of London/Midnight Riot) and make his acquaintance.

This is urban fantasy, but not like the UF that I usually read. Somehow, the magical elements of Aaronovitch’s fiction just melt into the story and don’t stick out like sore thumbs. Peter is primarily a copper and only secondarily an apprentice wizard. And despite the warnings of his wizardly mentor, Nightingale, Peter continues to try to analyze, quantify, and extemporize with his magical abilities.

Speaking of Nightingale, I would definitely like more information on his background! Aaronovitch deals out a few more details in this installment, but I would love more history on him, the Folly (where he & Peter live), and Molly, their creepy live-in caretaker.

Have I mentioned that Peter is funny? That he can wryly explain London and the police force in ways that make me smile every time? Sure, he can be a bit of an asshole from time to time, but really who among us isn’t? He is much gentler with his injured partner, Lesley, than I would have expected from previous books. And his impulsiveness is kept in check by Stephanopoulous and Guleed, not to mention American Kimberley Reynolds. He has many good women in his life!
I also appreciated the many pop culture references—everything from “Holy paranormal activity, Nightingale - to the Jag mobile,” to an inscription on a demon trap written in Tolkien’s Elvish (which incidentally, Peter is nerdy enough to be able to read).

A true pleasure to read. I look forward to the next installment, Broken Homes.
Profile Image for Michelle F.
232 reviews68 followers
February 16, 2020
“Holy paranormal activity, Nightingale – to the Jag mobile”

Oho. I am climbing fully on board for this river ride now! Whispers Underground was an absolute hoot.

The third installment in this very British urban fantasy/police procedural hybrid has Peter Grant assigned to the Murder Squad in an investigation that will take him to some dark (and smelly) places.

I found the first two books of the Rivers of London series to be fun but somewhat inconsistently captivating, but in Whispers Underground most of the rough edges smoothed out and everything came together in satisfying cohesion.

I've always been impressed by the way Aaronovitch blends the two genres, but the way he approaches the procedural mystery is both particularly refreshing and, if I may borrow an -ism, an exercise in 'taking the piss':
“Not for them the detective's gut instinct or the intricate logical deductions of a sleuth savant. No, what the Met likes to do is throw a shitload of manpower at the problem and run down every single possible lead until it is exhausted, the murderer is caught, or the senior investigator dies of old age. As a result, murder investigations are conducted not by quirky Detective Inspectors with drink/relationship/mental problems but a bunch of frighteningly ambitious Detective Constables in the first mad flush of their careers.

Aaronovitch seems to be really hitting his stride for humour, too. His quippy narrative voice is uproarious but still leaves room for the story to flow unimpeded. Add to that a bunch of fanpeep service (including a Bill & Ted reference and a nod to Pratchett), the fact that Lesley is back in a starring role (after getting shafted last time around), a cast of support characters who are blossoming wonderfully and London itself commanding a role all its own, and this was just a ton of fun.

Whispers Underground ramps up my enjoyment of this series for sure, and I am excited to keep going. I actually followed my physical read of this book with a listen to the audio version, and I will shortly do a separate review, as it deserves its own bit of attention.
Profile Image for B Schrodinger.
305 reviews649 followers
September 28, 2014
Ben sure isn't a one trick pony. The third volume of his Peter Grant series is a high point and while not as astounding as the first volume, it's way better than the second and much more fun than any of the others.

This time around Peter Grant, PC Magician's Apprentice, faces a mystery of a dead art student in the Tube. Sounds mundane and not Peter Grant at all, but the murder weapon is a shard of magically imbued pottery. So what we get is a wonderful and claustrophobic chase into the literal underworld of London, full of shit, trains and death. Oh and a bit of magic. We always knew it would turn up.

I think I touched on this in my review of the first novel, but here I go again. This is not your average urban fantasy shtick. This is smart and funny writing without any bullshit. We can make glib references to other stalwarts like the quaote on the cover from io9 "The perfect blend of CSI and Harry Potter", but this series will only suffer if you start making comparisons. Sure there are plot points that sound corny and cliche, but reading it you never feel that way, or if you do Peter Grant is one step ahead pointing out how cliche it is.

I think part of the attraction is also the attraction that all good series have, whether TV, books or comics even. There are some great characters in here that you end up caring about. And there are some great assholes too that you may find yourselves booing vocally at. Indeed this series does read like your favourite TV series, but one that no producer or broadcaster has had their grubby hands into and fucked it up somehow.

So I really wholeheartedly recommend this series again. Sure it's not 5 star material, but it's damn rare to find a series that is as smart, funny and enticing as this with as many characters that you care about.

Oh and he ends on such great cliffhangers just when you thought the whole thing was wrapped up.
Profile Image for verbava.
967 reviews94 followers
October 11, 2021
на цих вихідних два концерти spiritual front спізнилися в сумі на три години, а я ще й на обидва примудрилася прийти трошки зарано (серйозно, після першого можна було зробити якісь висновки), але не страшно, бо саме для таких ситуацій були вигадані приємні детективи, у яких більше атмосфери й дотепних формулювань, ніж хитро розкладених підказок і спантеличувалок, тому від тексту можна отримувати задоволення, навіть якщо половина твоєї уваги скерована деінде.

It depicted the ever-popular ‘Venus-Aphrodite surprised by a sculptor and struggling to cover her tits with one hand and keep her drape at waist height with the other’ so beloved of art connoisseurs in the long weary days before the invention of internet porn.
за ці штуки я й люблю пітера гранта. (і, мабуть, саме тому коміксова лінійка «річок лондона» мені не зайшла — у коміксах занадто мало місця для розлогих образів і бавлення словами).
Profile Image for Brent.
346 reviews141 followers
January 20, 2020
Another fun adventure with Peter Grant.

Bonus points for Pratchett and Blackadder references.
Profile Image for Mimi.
691 reviews188 followers
January 5, 2021
4.5 stars

It doesn't normally take me this long to get through urban fantasy. The book just got away from me. Literally. I lost it, along with the rest of the series, to relatives visiting over Christmas break and didn't get around to getting another copy until last week. So I'm just making sure to say the dates read have no bearings on how much I like this book.

This is another great installment by Ben Aaronovitch and the series definitely improves with each book. All the praises I had for the previous two books also apply here. Not that it should matter, but I feel as though I'm being repetitive when I say how much I like this series and Aaronovitch's writing.

The premise is an American international student is found dead in a subway tunnel. The cause of death is murder, of course, and quite possibly murder by magic, which is why Peter Grant is called to the scene. Now that Leslie May is made apprentice, she also joins in on the investigative work. This case introduces Peter and Leslie to a whole new world of magic, very different from what's he's encountered up to now, and the trail takes him under ground into the tunnels, sewers, and more rivers of London. This new world of magic is literally a whole world, a different way of living, under ground.

Once again, Aaronovitch has found interesting ways to incorporate London's history into London's present time and then work both into the murder mystery and magic of the week. Like the previous two books, this story is another journey into the heart of London, this time literally, and what I really like about that is you learn new things with each chapter. I spent a good part of a weekend looking up London's messed up sewer systems, and I didn't mind at all. Another thing I like about these mysteries is that they're smart and smartly plotted. They're usually one step ahead of my calculations and that's just how I like murder mysteries.

Some highlights from the book:

How the police actually handle your personal information:
In the old days every police station used to have a collator--an officer whose job it was to maintain boxes of card files full of information of local criminals, old cases, gossip and anything else that might allow the blue-uniformed champions of justice to kick down the right door. Or at least a door in the right neighbourhood.

Introducing Sergeant Kumar of the tunnels:
"If you have to walk the tracks with the juice on, then you stay off the sleepers. They're slippery. You slip, you fall, you put your hands out and zap."

"Zap," I said. "That's the technical term for it, is it? What do you call someone who's been zapped?"

"Mr. Crispy," said Kumar.

"That's the best you guys can come up with?"

Kumar shrugged. "It's not like it's a major priority."

Introducing DCs Guleed and Carey of the family relations unit:
The metal was painfully cold under my hands but it took me less than five seconds to get my foot on the top bar, swing myself over and jump down. My shoes skidded on the cobbles but I managed to recover without falling over.

"What do you think," asked Carey. "Nine point five?"

"Nine point two," said Guleed. "He lost points for the dismount."


Given that all three of us were Londoners, we paused a moment to carry out the ritual of the "valuation of the property." I guessed that, given the area, it was at least a million and change.

"Million and a half easy," said Carey.

"More," said Guleed. "If it's freehold."

Introducing Molly to the guest:
"This is Molly," I said. "Molly--this is Zach who will be staying overnight. Can he use the room next to mine?"

Molly gave me a long stare and then inclined her head at me, exactly the way Ziggy the dog had, before gliding off towards the stairs. Possibly to put fresh linen on the guest bed or possibly to sharpen her meat cleavers--it's hard to tell with Molly.

Law enforcement professionals at work:
'I can't believe you didn't bring handcuffs,' said Reynolds.

You didn’t!’ I said.

‘It’s not my jurisdiction,’ said Reynolds.

‘It’s not my jurisdiction,’ I said.

We both looked at Kumar. ‘Evidence,’ he said. ‘You said you were looking for evidence, not suspects.’

Our suspect had started shaking and making snorting noises.

‘And you can stop laughing,’ I told him. ‘This is really unprofessional.’

Adventures in the sewers:
"Stop," I yelled. "Police." I hoped they would, because I was getting knackered.

Our fugitive tried to pick up their pace, but my height gave me the advantage.

"Stop," I yelled. "Or I'll do something unpleasant." I thought about where we were for a moment. "Even more unpleasant than what we're doing now."


"Oh, great," I screamed. "Now we're a bobsleigh team."

"It's the luge," yelled Kumar. "It's only a bobsleigh if you've got a bobsleigh."

"You two are insane," shouted Reynolds. "There's no such thing as a triple luge."

Between duckings I glimpsed a patch of grey. I opened my mouth to yell "Daylight" and then really wished I hadn't when I got a mouthful of diluted sewage.

It was another intersection. I saw an alcove with a ladder and lunged--only to be swept past, with my fingers centimeters from the metal. My foot hit something underwater hard enough to pitch me over and the world's first-ever Anglo-American Olympic sewer luge team broke up.

The scenes in the sewer had me laughing for a good hour. There plenty more hilarious moments like these, but they edge into spoilers territory so I will refrain from listing all of my favorites.

* * * spoilers * * *

* * * * *

Cross-posted at http://covers2covers.wordpress.com/20...
Profile Image for Rob.
845 reviews532 followers
November 5, 2017
Executive Summary: Another solid entry in this series, and I hope to get to the next book much sooner than I got to this one.

Audiobook: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith once again does an excellent job, making this series a must listen for me.

Full Review
You may not know it from looking at my Goodreads shelf, but I was never much of a fantasy reader growing up. That changed in college. For several years after college, I didn't read much, but what I read tended to be Urban Fantasy. I just couldn't seem to get enough. My favorite is The Dresden Files.

Well at some point apparently I had enough. Every Urban Fantasy series I tried just didn't hold up to the later Dresden Files books, and I was no longer willing to give a series several books to hold my interest. I had pretty much given up on Urban Fantasy when I picked this series up.

I meant to read this book much sooner than I did, but other books kept coming up. Finally last month I had some extra time due to a road trip and I was looking for something fun/light to pass the time. This was the perfect book for that.

Urban Fantasy is littered with detectives/mysteries and this one is no different, but somehow Mr. Aaronvovitch does enough that I just don't care. I really like the characters, and I like the approach to magic. I want to know more about the world and the deeper mysteries of the Faceless Man that have been set up.

The main story of this book was fine, but not fantastic. It took a little while for things to get going, but the last 25% or so was all downhill. I would have liked it if we got more of the overarching plot. Dresden Files took a long time to set up it's larger story arcs, and I think that is much to its detriment. This feels much more like the TV episode format (continuing plot at beginning and end with the meat of it being mostly unrelated/stand alone). I hope we get more developments in the next book.

Peter and his partner are fun to follow around. The supporting cast was fine, but not super memorable. I liked the addition of the FBI agent (whose name I've already forgotten because I can't remember names ever). I don't know how they'd work her into a recurring role considering this is set in London, but I do hope this isn't the last we see of her.

This was a great road trip book, and I may pick up the next book when I hit the road again in December.
Profile Image for Richard.
451 reviews103 followers
June 18, 2017

The weakest of the three Peter Grant novels I've listened to, just not quite capturing the same excitement the first two provided. Maybe it's me going into them so quick one after the other or maybe it was just a weaker novel. Either way, a weak Peter Grant novel is better than a lot of books out there and I still enjoyed myself!

It seems there is some overall story arc being put in the pipelines here and this one hints at things to come and sets up more of the world more whilst still having its own mystery to contend with. This mystery surrounds a murdered son of a US senator meaning the FBI have been drafted in to take an interest in the outcome. There are a number of main characters returning and Lesley has a more prominent role in this one which was nice to see.

A note on the audio narration. Awesome as usual! If you're unsure on audiobooks I implore you to try this series. The voices are done really well and it flows nicely. I know I won't be reading any of these as long as he's narrating them! I did find a flaw in this outing though, his American FBI agent was a little poor and I don't think he pulled off an American accent unlike so many others he can do (he's human after all!!)

So whilst I thought this was the weakest in the series I still had fun listening to it and am enjoying this series thoroughly. I've already picked up the 4th on audio ready to go.
Profile Image for Tony.
480 reviews37 followers
June 19, 2019
I feel I should just write: 'see previous two reviews', as it certainly applies here and I would just be writing more of the same... one of these seamlessly merges into the next with little fuss or any change of direction. That sounds like a criticism. It's is most certainly not.

One thing I'd like to point out however (for audio version only)... Mr Aaronovitch knows his London but should have taken the London traffic into account for any poor chap wondering around with his iPhone (and it's pathetic volume limit) when writing a book about whispers!

How inconsiderate. Took me twice as long to listen to it.

:o) Loving this series!
Profile Image for Julie.
1,906 reviews38 followers
May 3, 2020
A very pleasant diversion from our current situation, which held my interest and kept me entertained.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,226 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.