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Whispers Under Ground

(Rivers of London #3)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  34,564 ratings  ·  2,272 reviews
It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher—and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom—if it exists at all—is deeper and more unnatural than an
Paperback, 303 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Del Rey (first published June 21st 2012)
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Popular Answered Questions
Anna Live Rufus Sewell but I would more picture someone like Rupert Penry-Jones
Therese I read the Gollancz ebook versions, so I presume it was a British edition. I'm Australian, and am usually aware of any adaptations, like spelling, for…moreI read the Gollancz ebook versions, so I presume it was a British edition. I'm Australian, and am usually aware of any adaptations, like spelling, for
the American market and noticed none.

I didn't notice any reference to Reynold's Christianity and relating problem with The Folly.

There was mention, however, of her spending Christmas Day with an Evangelical family from the Embassy. I did wonder why that was thrown in.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.16  · 
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 ·  34,564 ratings  ·  2,272 reviews

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"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 avoid - 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? Wai
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
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who loves detective fantasy

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 un
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun, crime, fantasy, weird
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!
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 attracti
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,
Lois Bujold
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 readerl
Mike (the Paladin)
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
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 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.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 fantasti
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: urban fantasy fans
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 t
Sam Quixote
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 ha
Paul E. Morph
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Oh, these books are just so much fun. I doubt I will ever stop reading them. The mysteries confuse me (and are mostly forgettable), I still don’t really understand how the magic works (and neither does the main character), and I really have no idea where this is all going. But I enjoy every minute of these books and most of all, this character.

What a witty, likable, self-deprecating, fully-realized character Ben Aaronovitch has created here. I could spend hours just reading his random asides abo
Brendon Schrodinger
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, mystery, fantasy
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 un
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 pathe
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Peter Grant is back: junior policeman on the Metropolitan Force, apprentice wizard and sarcastic jokester. Welcomew to the magical murder mystery tour of London, starting in Hugh Grant's and Julia Robert's favorite neighborhood of Notting Hill but going mostly to the sunken tunnels of a labyrinthine subway system going back to the nineteen century. If in the previous novel, we had a glimpse of Soho nightlife and at the Jazz scene, in this episode we will focus on modern art, small street boutiqu ...more
Cathy (cathepsut)
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
Out and about in London. Love and geographical knowledge of London makes this even more fun. I recommend to have a map of the London burroughs handy or maybe an AtoZ. I did.

Entertaining police procedural with a magic twist. I am finally hooked on this series. And once I am through with this series buddy read, I will re-read the first book. This time around my rating will most likely be quite a bit higher.

Some editing mistakes in the ebook, mostly missing prepositions and articles.

I am picturin
Not going to analytical; I'm giving it 5 stars because I loved the story, the expanding set of characters getting involved in the investigations (I want more Guleed, Kumar and Abigail!) and the slow reveal of a deeper, darker story. Little things that stood out for me
-Stephanopolous! I really like her.
-Abigail's Hogwarts Express.
-Jaget's X-Files interest, and consequent roping into the investigation.
-And that cheeky, Dr Who-referencing, building envelope-noting, sarcastic bugger, Peter Grant.
Alex Cantone
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It isn’t that hard to find the bodies at a major crime, even one at a complicated scene like an Underground station – you just look for the highest concentration of noddy suits and head that way. When I stepped out onto platform 3 the far end looked like an anthrax outbreak.

When a young man staggers out of the tunnels to bleed out at Baker Street station, the entire London underground grinds to a standstill while the SOC team moves in; at the busiest time of the year with Christmas shopping, and
Damn, I love this series. And damn I love these characters – -Peter, Lesley, Molly, Nightengale and even the little dog Toby. Rarely does an urban fantasy book feel new.

There is something so easy going but yet scary about the world Mr. Aaronovitch has created. It is layers of normal society on top of layers of an unknown magical community. These communities co-exist and sometimes collide. This story begins right off from where Moon Over Soho left off. Lesley and Peter (Why do I want to type Rob
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this on audio. A just right amount of v clever sardonic humor, varied and always interesting characters, intriguing plot, and a wonderful narrator = sheer enjoyment.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Posted at The BiblioSanctum

Wow, never have I snapped up and read all the currently available books in a series so quickly. With my enthusiasm waning for Harry Dresden in light of the new direction the Dresden Files series has taken in the last few books, someone else has recently dethroned him as my favorite leading man in urban fantasy fiction. Peter Grant is my master now!

I'm really enjoying this series. I probably didn't like this book as much as the two preceding it, but then again, Rivers o
Jenn "JR"
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenn "JR" by: Matthew Shapiro
This was also a fun book - and honestly, I keep reading these and thinking that they are really written with a screenplay in mind, and I sure would look forward to watching this as a TV series!

The protagonist, Peter Grant, is funny, self effacing and bright but not always quick on the uptake with certain things. He's also got a huge hangup about his friend Lesley's magic-related injury to her face (despite one of the other characters in this story referring to her as "sex on legs").

He's doing
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

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 havin
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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.

Other books in the series

Rivers of London (9 books)
  • Rivers of London (Peter Grant, #1)
  • Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2)
  • Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4)
  • Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant, #5)
  • The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant, #6)
  • Lies Sleeping (Peter Grant, #7)
  • False Value (Rivers of London #8)
  • Rivers of London Series Collection
“Holy paranormal activity, Nightingale - to the Jag mobile.” 50 likes
“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.” 46 likes
More quotes…