In Review: Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

 

By Ben Aaronovitch
Publisher: Gollancz
Out: 13th November 2014

The Book: In the anticipated fifth instalment in The Sunday Times bestselling Rivers of London series, Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch takes Peter Grant out of London – to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. But while you can take the London copper out of London you can’t take the London out of the copper.

Travelling west with Beverley Brook, Peter soon finds himself caught up in a deep mystery and having to tackle local cops and local gods. And what’s more all the shops are closed by 4.00pm…

Full of warmth, sly humour and a rich cornucopia of things you never knew about London, Aaronovitch’s series has swiftly added Grant’s magical London to Rebus’ Edinburgh and Morse’s Oxford as a destination of choice for those who love their crime with something a little extra. The books have now been optioned to become a TV series.

Born and raised in London, Ben Aaronovitch now lives in Kentish Town. He is a former bookseller and script writer, most famously for Doctor Who when he was the first person to write a scene of a Dalek going up a flight of stairs in a TV story in “Remembrance of the Daleks”. He now writes full-time.

The Review: Yes, we know… you’re reviewing novels, now? Except this is no oridinary novel. This is the fifth in a series of wonderful tales blending richly detailed fantasy with equally well researched crime fiction, and more to the point, if you’re planning on picking up Titan’s new Rivers of London comics next year, then you should be reading these novels, too.

Although this is the fifth novel in this terrific series, if you’re just joining the series then this is actually a good place to start. While there are references to what has gone before – which I won’t spoil here – Foxglove Summer offers a funny, hugely entertaining jump on point for new readers, as police officer and apprentice magician Peter Grant is taken out of his comfort zone and plonked right down in the middle of the countryside. It’s a fate I’m sure – indeed I know – many Londoners dread.

When there’s not only the danger of mixing with friendly (and in some cases, over friendly) locals but the possibility you might get skewered by a mythical beast as you try to help the local police force find two missing children, I’m sure there’s some justification for those city dwellers’ fears.

Throughout this enjoyable series, Ben Aaronovitch has developed a richly-textured alternate Britain as Peter Grant, seconded to investigate the weird and the magical under the direction of his mysterious mentor, Nightingale, has discovered a dark fantasy world running alongside the regular London. While never forgetting this is a crime novel, with a meticulous eye kept on police procedure (unlike most TV police dramas), Ben’s further developed his Rivers of London universe in this new novel, with plenty of twists and turns along the way as a mystery is solved (but not without a twist) and others are left hanging for future tales.

Ben has deservedly earned high praise for his Rivers of London series and Foxglove Summer continues to broaden the saga with gusto. With plenty of dark humour and action, great characters – human and otherwise! – this latest novel more than delivers everything fans will expect from a new story in this brilliant series. Thoroughly recommended.

Buy Foxglove Summer (Rivers of London 5) from amzon.co.uk

Buy Foxglove Summer from Forbidden Planet

Ben AaronovitchMore about Rivers of London at The Folly

Temporarily Significant: Ben Aronovitch’s Occasional Blog

Follow Ben @Ben_Aaronovitch

Foxglove Summer Signings

• Local bookshops and festivals will be celebrating the publication of Foxglove Summer throughout November 2014, and a number of them will be hosting talk and signing events with Ben Aaronovitch.

Friday 7th November

7pm – 9.00pm St Albans Literary Festival

Sunday 9th November

2pm – 4pm Wimbourne Book Festival

Monday 10th November

1 – 2.00.00pm Forbidden Planet Megastore Signing, London

6.30pm Waterstones Trafalgar Talk with Kobna Holdbrook Smith

Tuesday 11th November

1- 2.00pm Hatchards Kings Cross St Pancras Signing

7.00pm Waterstones Nottingham Solo Talk and Signing

Wednesday 12th November

1.00pm Waterstones Leeds signing

6.30pm Waterstones Manchester Solo Talk and signing

Thursday 13th November

1.00pm Waterstones Liverpool signing

7.30pm Waterstones Birmingham Solo Talk and Signing

Friday 14th November

7pm Ledbury Books Solo Talk and Signing

Saturday 15th November

1 – 2pm Toppings Bath Solo Talk and Signing

Sunday 30th November

2 – 3pm London Museum of Water and Steam Solo Talk and Signing

Sunday 7th December

2 – 4pm, Kingston Waterstones Solo Talk and Signing

 

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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