Review: Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovich

9970042It 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 anyone suspects . . . except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inspector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as “the Faceless Man,” it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and—as of now—deadliest subway system in the world.

At least he won’t be alone. 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.

I’ve had a self imposed, almost year long, break from the PC Grant series, but I’ve let myself have a quick binge of the books over the last week or so!

Rivers of London was one of my favourite books in 2015, and while Moon Over Soho was good, it didn’t live up to its predecessor. However, Whispers Underground did not disappoint one bit!

I love everything to do with London, and I’m fascinated by the famous London Underground. Whilst it was a terrifying experience in peak hour, I found it far more interesting and easy to use than my own rail system in Sydney! The Underground has much to offer the imagination in real life… ghost stories, major accidents, secret tunnels, closed off stations and much much more. Aaronovich adds some even more freaky things in there in this book, and god damn, I loved every word.

Peter Grant is your typical bloke… he’s a beer swilling copper, but he also does magic. His amazing partner in law enforcement, Lesley May, is still recovering from the trauma of Rivers of London, but she’s absolutely kick arse and I adore her.

I know many people have a problem with Peter’s take on the women he meets, and as a feminist… I don’t see it. Sure, he looks at women and thinks they’re hot. So what? Every guy does it. Hell, lots of girls do it too. It’s a basic human reaction to seeing an attractive person, and you’re seeing this all through the eyes of an average man. He doesn’t treat women with disrespect, he thinks the world of Lesley and never attempts to “go there” with her, even when he would freaking love to.

I laughed out loud frequently throughout the book, read out bits to anyone who would listen and even went back to read over my favourite sections again. There’s a bit where Peter is trapped in the Underground with the ghosts of the many people who have died there, and it sent chills down my spine whilst reading it late at night!

I love all the references to geek culture throughout the series, and they sent me into fits of giggles on the regular. So many Lord of the Rings quotes! It’s partly why Peter is one of my favourite modern literary characters- so sassy, so geeky and doesn’t take shit from anyone. Except maybe Lesley, but most of the time he deserves it.

The actual crime itself is riveting, and draws in the FBI and a high profile US Senator. There is also the overarching problem of the Faceless Man who started causing problems in Rivers of London, and there is a very intense chase through a deep sewer. Nightingale is as hilarious and badass as ever, and I was pleased to see a fair amount of Molly, the resident creepy housekeeper, involved in this book.

I think this is definitely on par with Rivers of London, and is a book I’m bound to read again! I immediately bought Broken Homes and I’m hoping it’s as awesome as this was!


5/5 Stars


5 thoughts on “Review: Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovich

  1. This is one of my favourite series – I binged on them about a year ago. People ask me what it’s like and I say, ‘um, basically if Harry Potter was a policeman’.
    I’m a huge fan of Nightingale, although he doesn’t get enough page space in my opinion.

    • I love Nightingale! I so hope we get a whole series of him doing his magical thing between Ettersburg and Peter’s appearance. The moment he turned up in Rivers of London he had my heart 🙂

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