The Peter Grant series continues to be one of my most satisfying urban fantasy reads.
Peter’s slightly off mainstream centre but ever so accurate view of the world is intoxicating, whether he’s commenting on architectural faux pas, describing how rooms can be lies told by their inhabitants, critiquing the dynamics that result in police officers using terms like “pro-active, intelligence-led operations” or looking deeper into the history of London.
In this book, you can see that Peter has matured. He has people that he’s responsible for, a stable relationship with a woman/goddess who rescued him from Fairyland and a firmer grasp of his own capabilities. Yet he’s still driven by curiosity and deeply angered by the abuse of power.
I liked that Peter isn’t becoming some Doctor Strange figure, fighting the forces of darkness alone. He still sees himself as a policeman and it pleased me to see him working as part of a team with other officers from the Met. I liked the idea of needing PACE-compliant interview rooms for magical suspects and of having dozens of analysts combing data and putting actions into Holmes.
The plot is filled with threat, mystery and humour. It continues to have London itself as a character, with its past and present shaping the flow of events. These events also move the Leslie story arc forward in a decisive way and pull together things learned in earlier books.
I was particularly impressed with the new addition to the Folly. The story behind that made a bridge to earlier books and demonstrated Peter’s growing maturity.
I loved meeting the talking foxes again. The dialogue with them made me smile.
The only thing that pushed me out of the story a little was the way that Nightingale kept getting sidelined by circumstance. I can see that this gave Peter the space to operate but it will be frustrating and not very credible if it continues.
I consumed this book in a couple of days and that was only because I made myself take a break and get some sleep rather than reading it in one gulp. It’s a gift to the fans.
I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. His performance is superb. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample.