Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
This is the second volume in Aaronovitch's urban fantasy series, The Rivers of London, featuring London police constable (and wizard in training) Peter Grant and his mentor, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, head of the London Metropolitan Police Special Crimes Unit that deals with the strange and inexplicable.
Peter is assigned to investigate the strange and inexplicable death of Cyrus Wilkins, an accountant and part-time drummer, who dropped dead of a heart attack for no apparent reason in the middle of a gig at a Soho jazz club. The first thing Peter notices when he examines the corpse is the music he hears surrounding the body: the great jazz classic, "Body and Soul." That's called vestigia, and it's a big flashing neon alert that Cyrus' death was supernaturally induced.
At about the same time, Peter and Nightingale become aware of strange creatures half-human, half-beast, preying on visitors to the clubs and bars of Soho. With the help of Ash Thames, one of the minor gods of the London Rivers, and a beautiful groupie named Simone who keeps turning up in the vicinity of murdered jazz musicians, Peter and Nightingale begin to close in on a renegade wizard, an "ethically challenged" practioner of the magical arts. Great fun for fans of urban fantasy and the paranormal.