Whispers under Ground: Rivers of London Review

Whispers under Ground: Rivers of London (Book 3)

by Ben Aaronovitch

” ‘Come Monday I get to do some proper policing. Person Unknown has been stabbed to death on the tracks at Baker Street tube. Magic may have been involved.’

Person Unknown turns out to be the son of a US senator and before you can say ‘International incident’, FBI agent Kimberly Reynolds is on DC Grant’s case.

And down in the dark, in the tunnels of London’s Underground, the buried rivers, the Victorian sewers, there are whispers of vengeance from beyond the grave.

DC Grant’s latest case is about to come off the rails…”

I bought Whispers under Ground when I bought Moon over Soho, while reading Rivers of London. I knew back then that I wanted to read the whole series. Apart from knowing what happens in Moon over Soho and Rivers of London, I did not know anything about this book. However, you do not need to have read Moon over Soho to understand what happens in Whispers under Ground 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 Moon over Soho and Rivers of London, and I’m not sure you would necessarily ‘get it’ if you had not.

In Whispers under Ground we catch up with DC Peter Grant about 8-9 months (working out from dates of when Rivers of London and Whispers under Ground are definitely set) after the events of Moon over Soho. Lesley is at the Folly and Nightingale is teaching both of them magic. He has only one case to try to solve; one of a murder at Baker Street Tube Station, it is a Folly inquiry? But the Folly have their big case of finding Little Crocodiles (that started in Moon over Soho).

Two of my favourite characters from Moon over Soho are back; main character Peter Grant and Lesley May, who is now back in London. 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. Thomas Nightingale and Molly are in Whispers under Ground but seem to have taken a back seat, I am really getting like both of them.

I loved the parts in the Tube and the sewers, they were gripping and ‘fun’. I liked learning about more of the magical world that Aaronovitch has created, through both new ‘types’ of people and new areas. I loved the interaction and ‘cohesion’ of The Met and FBI, just how you imagine it might be with two big police organisations working together. Just a warning of a sexual scene (or two) within the book, but also plenty of magic scenes, corpse scenes and general police work as well.

Whispers under Ground was amazing, I did not want to put it down when I was reading, but unfortunately I had a lot going on, which meant it took me longer than normal. It made me sad, happy and tense in all the right places, I did not cry, but I did laugh at a few points when it got a bit geeky (D&D for example)! It was as much guesswork as Moon over Soho had been. Whispers under Ground is a fantastic blend of fantasy and crime fiction.

Whispers under Ground does have a cliffhanger, this is because we leave Peter, Lesley and Nightingale at the end of the case, but there are another two published books (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 bad language and sexual content. 5 out of 5.

Whispers under Ground





  • Characters
  • Storyline
  • First Person Narrative

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