Moon over Soho: Rivers of London Review

Moon over Soho: Rivers of London (Book 2)

by Ben Aaronovitch

“It was clear to DC Grant that is was no heart attack that had killed jazz saxophonist Cyrus Wilkinson. Someone, or something, is stalking the streets of Soho – drawn to that special gift that separates the great musicians from the rest.

As Grant follows the evidence deep into the back streets of London-town his investigation quickly gets tangled up in another story: that of brilliant trumpet player, Richard ‘Lord’ Grant. Who also happens to be Grant’s father.

That’s the thing about policing: most of the time you’re doing it to maintain public order. Occasionally you’re doing it for justice. And, maybe once in a career, you’re doing it for revenge.”

I was about half way through reading Rivers of London and I just knew that I had to know where the story went, so I went into my local Waterstones and bought the rest of the series, wiping them out of books by Ben Aaronovitch for a day until they could be resupplied. I got straight onto reading it as soon as I put Rivers of London down and I was not disappointed. However, you do not need to have read Rivers of London to understand what happens in Moon over Soho as everything is introduced as you go along, but there are points that I think felt a bit like an inside joke if you had read Rivers of London and I’m not sure you would necessarily ‘get it’ if you had not.

In Moon over Soho we catch up with DC Peter Grant (as he is nowadays) a few months (I presume) after the events of Rivers of London. Lesley is recovering at home and Nightingale is recuperating from his gunshot. He has two main cases to try to solve; one about the woman who is biting men’s private parts off, which started at the end of Rivers of London, and the other is about Jazz musicians dying from ‘natural’ causes which of course are a matter for The Folly to look into.

Two of my favourite characters from Rivers of London are back; main character Peter Grant and Lesley May, who I had thought may not be in this book, but even though she is now living near Colchester does a good job of keeping in the loop. However, Beverly Brook, who I had hoped to see again is not in this book, hopefully she might pop up in one at a later date. Oxley makes an appearance and Thomas Nightingale is growing on me as we learn more about his past, as is the very strange ‘housekeeper’ Molly. I was completely drawn in by one of the new characters; Simone.

I loved the part where Nightingale and Grant went to Oxford and to Nightingale’s old school, it was great to get some back-story and not just to Nightingale but to the world of magic that Aaronovitch has created. Just a warning of some sexual scenes within the book, but also plenty of magic scenes, corpse scenes and general police work as well.

Moon over Soho was amazing, I did not want to put it down, which meant that I read it in 2 days! It made me sad, happy and tense in all the right places, I did not cry or laugh, but I remember gasping at one point from shock! It was as much guesswork as Rivers of London had been. Moon over Soho is a fantastic blend of fantasy and crime fiction.

Moon over Soho does have a cliff-hanger, this is because we leave Peter Grant at the end of the case, but there are another three published books (Whispers Under Ground, Broken Homes and Foxglove Summer) and book six (The Hanging Tree) is being published later this year.

The way I described this book while reading it was a crime novel with a fantasy twist. I personally cannot find any fault with it and would recommend it to adults due to sexual content. 5 out of 5.

Moon over Soho





  • Characters
  • Storyline
  • First Person Narrative

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