Midnight Riot - Ben Aaronovitch

Twas the night before Bookclub,

and all through the house,

not a creature was stirring...

because I wore them completely out.

 

There was a gigantic list of things I wanted to do around the house before the 10 ladies from Bookclub descended upon my home and amazingly, we accomplished them all. I usually have friends and family over, but it's been a long time since I have entertained 'outsiders'. I might have gone a little overboard...if last minute landscape upgrades of 9 bags of mulch and 4 new plants say anything. I decided to do that at about 3pm this afternoon. But I digress...

 

A big thanks to all my lovely Booklikes friends who recommended Midnight Riot which was chosen as this month's selection. The club wanted an Urban Fantasy or Science Fiction Fantasy choice and for most this was their first toe dip in the pool. Urban Fantasy won.

 

I, personally, loved this book.

 

“The magic’s coming back?” asked the commissioner. “Since the mid-sixties,” said Nightingale. “The sixties,” said the commissioner. “Why am I not surprised..."

 

Peter Grant has all the heart to be a copper but may not be in possession of all the important skills necessary to be a good copper. For example, an attention span greater than that of a gnat is generally required. Still, on his last days of probationary period he's managed to muddle through with the help of fellow probationary police woman, Leslie. Unfortunately his muddling days quickly come to an end when he lands himself in a conversation with a ghost who happens to be the key witness to a murder that he's simply guarding until the real investigative team arrives.

 

Thing is, not everyone can see said witness and Peter finds himself quickly submerged in the unknown side of this world where magic and science exquisitely combine.

 

This book has all the elements that I love in this genre. Great humor, twisty plot, vibrantly drawn characters and colorful world building, snappy dialogue, a choo-choo pace that keeps you going AND....a love interest, or two.

 

You see, Peter has a thing for Leslie, but then again, he has a thing for this other gal, Beverly. Peter Grant expresses his appreciation for most women in this book as long as they were not alive when the Beatles were still together. The funny thing about Peter Grant is that he may be passably good looking, he may have the brains, he may even have the brawn as well...but the one thing that Peter Grant lacks is swagger.

 

He is sort of a 'from zero to hero' character. Indeed, Peter is sort of fumbly. As he trips along in his apprenticeship with Investigator Nightingale, an under-wraps policeman who deals with things that go bump in the night and a Master Wizard himself, Peter finds he has a certain aptitude for this sort of thing. Of course, this is an excellent time for him to find his niche when it's up to him to track down a paranormal slash magical entity that is blowing citizens faces off.

 

You can tell that author Aaronovitch carefully put together his tale with a hefty amount of heart. This is a rich world he is building laced with loads of references and history, and topped with a main character that you can't help but root for. I already picked up the second book, Moon Over Soho, and am probably going to try to jam that into Fall Bingo somehow.

 

Bravo Booklikers, a real hit for me. Shall I report back with how the Bookclub at large responds? Tomorrow's agenda includes a load of cooking. I'm hoping to ply them with good food and drink so that they're tempted to try a Science Fiction Fantasy next...