Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

August 6, 2012
What happened?  Where's Masterpiece Theater when you need 'em?
After all of these years watching Masterpiece Theater-Mystery, BBC productions, movies made by and starring British actors, afters years and years of Inspectors Lewis, Frost and Foyle, the Black Adder, Sharpe, Dr. Who, Patsy and Eddy, you would think I'd be somewhat familiar with the language of Great Britain.  You would think!  Well, soo-prise, soo-prise (use Gomer Pyle voice).  Along came Midnight Riot published in the United Kingdom under the name of Rivers of London.  I'm not sure why marketing felt the change in titles was necessary - I like the title Rivers of London better and it's more on point with the story.

However, la-di-da, la-di-da, da-da, we have the title Midnight Riot.  This book is the first in a series by Ben Aaronovitch, Moon Over Soho and Whispers Underground follow.  And, we are introduced to constable Peter Grant, who also happens to be a struggling apprentice wizard - this part of the story comes as a bit of a surprise to Peter.  Now, don't think just because Peter is a wizard that we are entering the world of Harry Potter, because we are not.  First of all Peter is a grown man with a west African culture, which I found totally absorbing.  Secondly, even though there is gore galore, this story just isn't as dark in texture as Harry's.  I believe that is mainly due to Peter's wonderfully wry wit.  It doesn't matter whose face is falling off in this book, Peter is always there with some kind of funny remark or witty thought.

This is the first Urban Fantasy I believe I've read, although the lines between detective-thriller-paranormal-urban are somewhat blurred. 

Anyway, I enjoyed Midnight Riot.  I was fascinated by the mystical world that Mr. Aaronovitch was/is creating.  Even though I was sometimes lost in the Englishness of the story, I was glad that the book had not been Americanized.

If I had any quibbles with the story it was that the plot line wasn't anything new and was easily resolved.  I also could have done without the history lesson on Bow Street Runners.  And, occasionally I had a problem with Peter being on his own a lot, in his police work and his wizardly learning.

However, I loved the look at all the Gods and Goddesses, and enchanted creatures.  And, I think this is a series I'm going to continue reading because I want to see what is in the future for Peter and his magical world.

Time/Place: Current London
Sensuality: Warm/Cute
Violence: Graphic

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