Title: Whispers Under Ground
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Del Rey
Pub Date: July 31, 2012
ISBN: 9780345524614
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Category: FICTION – ADULT: Mystery, Detective, Suspense & Thrillers: Mystery & DetectiveFICTION – ADULT: Other: Urban Life FICTION – ADULT: Science Fiction & Fantasy: Fantasy
Marketing Copy:

A WHOLE NEW REASON TO MIND THE GAP It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher-and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom-if it exists at all-is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects . . . except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inspector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as “the Faceless Man,” it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and-as of now-deadliest subway system in the world.

At least he won’t be alone. No, the FBI has sent over a crack agent to help. She’s young, ambitious, beautiful . . . and a born-again Christian apt to view any magic as the work of the devil. Oh yeah-that’s going to go well.

Ben Aaronovitch was born in London in 1964 and had the kind of dull routine childhood that drives a man to drink or to science fiction. He is a screenwriter, with early notable success on BBC television’s legendary Doctor Who, for which he wrote some episodes now widely regarded as classics, and which even he is quite fond of. He has also penned several groundbreaking TV tie-in novels. After a decade of such work, he decided it was time to show the world what he could really do and embarked on his first serious original novel. The result is Midnight Riot, the debut adventure of Peter Grant, followed by Moon Over Soho.

My Review:

I have been fortunate enough lately to find books that have really sucked me in.  This was one of those books.  The concept of ghost investigators and sorcerers is nicely reimaged here.  I suppose I have come into this series late, being the third book in this run, but I did not feel that I was missing any information.  The characters were well-formed, and the story carried along at a great pace.

You get the ordinary guy cop who has been sucked into a world full of spooks and such and, fortunately for him, a partner that carries him through most of the trouble.  The clever cop, dumb cop routine works well for Peter and Lesley.  The adventure is police procedural, but is carried off with a very dry sense of humour that had me silently guffawing at times.  I found the investigation bits quite detailed, but it did not slow the pace down too much.

I liked this book enough that I plan to go back and find the other two books to learn of their past of Peter, the Folly and their merry band of cohorts.  Nice job, Ben.  Keep it up please.

My Rating:

4 ghosts out of 5