Book 2 in the Rivers of London series, from Sunday Times Number One bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch.
Body and Soul. The song. That's what London constable and sorcerer's apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho's 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body - a sure sign that something about the man's death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.
Body and soul - they're also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace - one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard "Lord" Grant - otherwise known as Peter's dear old dad.
Praise for the Rivers of London novels:
'Ben Aaronovitch has created a wonderful world full of mystery, magic and fantastic characters. I love being there more than the real London'
'As brilliant and funny as ever'
'Charming, witty, exciting'
'An incredibly fast-moving magical joyride for grown-ups'
Discover why this incredible series has sold over two million copies around the world. If you're a fan of Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams - don't panic - you will love Ben Aaronovitch's imaginative, irreverent and all-round irresistible novels.
Does not disappoint
Excellent second book that builds superbly on the first. Some old faces make a brief return but there is plenty of new blood to keep the story moving at a steady pace. At this rate book three should be an absolute cracker, but the wait is going to be excruciating.
I read Rivers of London and thought that it was a fluke. That a book that combined well researched London history with magic and a police procedural story that kept you enthralled so tightly could only be a one off. Moon Over Soho proved me wrong.
Ben Aaronovitch continues narrating the adventures of Detective Constable Peter Grant (apprentice wizard) and his boss and Master Thomas Nightingale as they deal with the resurgence of magic in twenty first century London. This resurgence is even more important as it becomes apparent that there are creatures, people and conspiracies from the past that are now causing trouble for the Metropolitan Police (and of course, murdering the odd helpless person in fantastical circumstances.
Peter Grant is an excellent creation, a real Londoner, sympathetic, with the right measures of humour and pathos that keeps you rooting for him. This is especially evident in the way that he thought that he's gotten a grip on the magical world that he found himself in by surviving his first case (as told in Rivers of London), only to find that he still has much more to learn.
The introduction of an black magician (sorry, an ethically-challenged magician) is a thrilling device, that not only promises sequels but also a way of unpicking the history behind Aaronovitch's alternative universe. It also leads to a magical duel that is so spectacular that it would have Harry Potter snapping his wand in disgust and envy.
My only regret is that I enjoyed Moon Over Soho so much that I read it non stop in a couple of hours and now have a year to wait before my next trip into Aaronovitch's magical version of London....
Quite good for a follow up
I enjoyed this second outing for PC Grant and Inspector Nightingale. I thought the story was original and engaging but I found it frustrating that one investigation seemed to have been dropped two thirds of the way through with no further mention of it in the book at all. I'm not sure if this is because it's being lined up for the next book (provided there's to be another one) or whether it's just being dropped. But I would have liked to have some reference to where that particular case is going. Some loose ends were dealt with such as why Nightingale is so old etc but they were hastily dealt with and felt a little rushed. All in all though, it's a good book, especially as a follow up to a particularly successful first title. Some aspects would have been better as they felt a little rushed but this is certainly worth a read and I'd still recommend it to others.