Thursday, December 22, 2011

Midnight Riot through the Rivers of London

     A few weeks ago our friend John asked me, “So how do you feel about Midnight Riot?”
     “Rivers of London?”
     “What are you talking about?” I asked, thinking he might be naming bands and albums that I had missed. It turned out that he was giving me the American and UK names for the first book in a magic-cop series by Ben Aaronovitch. And then he gifted me with the book. I devoured it, then read the sequel Moon Over Soho on Kindle. I can recommend both books to most anyone. They’re funny, imaginative, tense and touching. They fit a category of reading I’m fond of, presenting themselves as light-reading but deeper than they let on.
     I love the UK cover concept for the series. 

The USA title Midnight Riot does not do the book justice. But I can see how Rivers of London probably wouldn’t have worked out as a title in the USA.
     The next book, Whispers Under Ground, appears in the US in May.   
     Apparently I might have known about the author beforehand if I was familiar with the new Doctor Who. Aaronovitch wrote for it in bunches. But I haven’t gotten over my early-adolescent Doctor-hate, so Midnight Riot is the first I’ve heard of the bloke. 


  1. I've been plugging these books like crazy to anyone who'll listen. Glad to find someone else boosting the signal!

  2. You might also enjoy A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin or The Devil You Know by Mike Carey, both ploughing the same furrow in subtly different ways (and not unrelated to Gaiman's Neverwhere or Miéville's Un Lun Dun)

  3. Thanks, Rob, will give them a shot. In return I offer suggestions of _The Devil You Know_ by Mike Carey (agreeing with GB Steve) and _Child of Fire_ by Harry Connolly (which is not British, but is original modern fantasy, though it's sadly been canceled after three books).

  4. The Carey book is somewhere in my bookshelf: I'll look for it. I enjoyed the first two Connolly books. They entirely lack Aaronovitch's humor but they stuck with me; sorry to hear the series is over for now. And I'll now look for Kate Griffin, thanks.

  5. I got the first one as a birthday present for my wife Sam. The second one is wrapped and under the Christmas tree for her. I'll get round to reading them myself soon I hope.

    Don't much fancy the USA titles though.

  6. Myles, I believe your bookish lace-curtains gift will turn out well for you!

  7. I copy-edited some of Aaronovitch's Doctor Who fiction back in the early 90s. Nice tight work. It's interesting to see how many of the authors who worked on the New Adventures of Doctor Who for Virgin have gone on to be big in fiction--Andy Lane's Young Sherlock Holmes novels are being advertised on the sides of buses here, Daniel Blythe is doing strong work, and there was this fellow called Mark Gatiss...

  8. Thank you for the Who's Who of Who. What do you like by Blythe?