Review: Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovich

Peter Grant—cop, magical apprentice, and Londoner to the core—is being forced out of his comfort zone and into the English countryside. His latest case involves the disappearance of children in the small village of Herefordshire, and the local police are unwilling to admit there might be a supernatural element involved. Now Peter must deal with them, local river spirits, and the fact that all the shops close by 4 P.M.

Apologies for my silence recently! It’s been very busy.

Foxglove Summer is as close as this series has gotten to a stand alone novel, and whilst it was very good, I really really missed Leslie and Nightingale, who are both relegated to the background for different reasons. I do like Beverly Brook, as well as Peter’s new mate Dominic, but Lesley and Nightingale are just wonderful.

The mystery disappearance of the girls went in directions that I hadn’t expected, but I can’t say I was overly satisfied with the ending. It was kind of like Peter being taken hostage was either tacked on as an afterthought, or had been pared right back to the point of near pointlessness. The whole handover could have been done without it, or with the consequences being a larger feature. I feel like there was a major missed opportunity here… did the publishers just worry about the length?

However, in saying this, these are criticisms that I’ve thought of afterwards (though the whole rescue from fairyland bit was odd at the time), I did really enjoy the book and came out of it happy and wanting the next in the series to happen RIGHT NOW. Alas, until June we wait.

I did like the move from London to the country, and felt that Aaronovitch handled it perfectly. I love London as Peter’s setting, but I agreed with Nightingale- after the experiences of Broken Homes, he needed to get away and get distracted. Dominic was a perfect placeholder for Lesley, and I’m pleased that something is finally going on with Beverly and Peter! Also, that Lesley wasn’t entirely cut out, and their relationship is dented, but still respectful. Peter’s pain at her loss was so raw, and I loved that he understood why she did it and took it reasonably well.

So… now to wait for The Hanging Tree, which had better be awesome or Aaronovitch may have a legion of bloodthirsty fans waiting at his door… myself included.


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