Saturday, June 6, 2015

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

Foxglove Summer: A Rivers of London Novel by Ben Aaronovitch ---325 pages

Book Five in The Rivers of London Series. Two young girls go missing in rural Hertfordshire. There doesn't seem to be anything particularly suspicious --- in the supernatural sense --- involved, but Chief Inspector Peter Nightingale of the Folly, the Metropolitan Police's last thin line of defense against magical crime --- is concerned because the scene of this crime is right on the doorstep of a long retired and dormant wizard. Just to be on the safe side, he sends his assistant, wizard-in-training Constable Peter Grant to check out the situation.

Peter quickly concludes that retired wizard, Hugh Oswald, is not involved in the case of the missing children. He realizes however that Hugh could provide answers to some of the questions Peter has about Nightingale's past.  Also some nagging seventh sense makes Peter suspect that even if Hugh is not, something preternatural could be mixed up in the disappearance of best friends Hannah Marstowe and Nicole Lacey. So Peter volunteers to stay in Hertfordshire to assist with the search for the missing girls.

Aaronovitch has a happy knack for applying Monty Pythonesque humor to a modern police procedural constructed upon a foundation of British folklore, and making the whole crazy structure sound completely plausible.  Previous books in the series have been set in London and the last one left us with a major cliffhanger; but Foxglove Summer takes Peter out of his urban element for a "busman's holiday" in the British countryside.  It provides a bit of a break in the ratcheting tension of the story arc, and an opportune moment to fill in some of the Nightingale back story.  It also gives Peter a chance to show his mettle; no longer a mere apprentice but now a journeyman wizard, capable of coping with homicidal unicorns, devious changlings, and media circuses on his own.

Click HERE to read a review from Ellen Bourne's blog.

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Click HERE to read a review from the Fantasy Faction web site.

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