Midnight Riot (Peter Grant Series #1)

Midnight Riot (Peter Grant Series #1)

4.3 97
by Ben Aaronovitch
     
 

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Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who

Overview

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

Editorial Reviews

The police career of techie Peter Grant was stuck in "pause" until a ghost whispered in his ear. The insights of this deceased eyewitness help solve a baffling homicide and bring paranormal Peter to the attention of his London Metropolitan Police bosses. What follows is a smoothly-paced supernatural procedural that is grounded enough to keep you guessing and strange enough to keep you amused. This mass market original is the standalone follow-up to Ben Aaronovitch's well-received Moon Over Soho.

Publishers Weekly
In this fast-paced paranormal police procedural, Aaronovitch introduces Peter Grant, a rookie cop who can see ghosts. This unusual talent saves him from a potential life of office work when Chief Insp. Thomas Nightingale sends him for wizard training. Britain's police force has long known of the supernatural, and Grant is to assist Nightingale in solving many of London's magical problems—most notably, the mysterious string of violent attacks that tend to end with the perpetrator's face falling off. As the brutal epidemic spreads, Grant must race to finish his magic lessons and solve an ages-long dispute between the rivers of Britain. Though the novel sometimes feels just a little too jam-packed with plot points and adventures, it's witty, fun, and full of vivid characters, and the plot twists will keep even seasoned mystery fans guessing. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
“Fresh, original and a wonderful read. I loved it.”—Charlaine Harris

Midnight Riot is what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz. It is a hilarious, keenly imagined caper.”—Diana Gabaldon

“Filled with detail and imagination . . . Aaronovitch is a name to watch.”—Peter F. Hamilton

“The perfect blend of CSI and Harry Potter.” --io9.com

“Aaronovitch has created a fun and funny character in Grant, who displays wit more than snark (a welcome attitude) and shows he can think on his feet. . . . It's a great start to what will hopefully be a long series of adventures.”--SFrevu.com

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345524256
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/01/2011
Series:
Peter Grant Series, #1
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
71,928
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Midnight Riot 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 97 reviews.
Qwillery More than 1 year ago
While Ben Aaronovitch has written some Doctor Who tie-in novels, this is his first original novel and his urban fantasy debut. Midnight Riot / Rivers of London is quite simply fabulous. It's a mystery, police procedural, and urban fantasy wrapped in a rich mythology of London's rivers. I find it interesting that this novel has two different covers and two different titles. This is not the first time this has happened in the history of novels, of course. I find it interesting because the covers and titles reflect two different aspects of the same story. "Midnight Riot" is the US title; "Rivers of London" is the UK title. "Rivers of London" seems to emphasize the fantasy construct underlying the story: a mythology of London's rivers. Peter Grant, the main character, has to deal with issues created by the rivers. He deals directly with the gods and goddesses of the rivers and streams - the rivers personified. "Midnight Riot" seems to emphasize the police procedural aspect of the novel. A terrible chain of events has been set off. The mystery underlying the crimes comes from London's past. These two themes of the novel intertwine sometimes in surprising, but satisfying, ways. Themes aside, this is essentially a story about Peter Grant. I find Detective Constable Grant to be a likable, flawed character. He makes mistakes. He's sometimes foolish, but he's got a curious mind and a willingness to learn. He's also got a scientific mind which would seem at odds with his new assignment working with DCI Nightingale investigating crimes that involve magic. However, this serves him well as he starts to navigate the world of magic. It's incredibly fun to read about his attempts at magic and watch him begin his journey to wizardom. He's starting to grow into both his jobs - Detective Constable and wizard. The characters both paranormal and normal are well written. The river gods and goddesses are particularly well drawn. I'm intrigued by DCI Nightingale and hope to learn more about him in future books. The pacing is well done. The police procedures are detailed and interesting. There is quite a bit of detail about London and environs, which I enjoyed. I love the understated humor that suffuses Midnight Riot / Rivers of London. I'm looking forward to Moon Over Soho (March 1, 2011). I give Midnight Riot / Rivers of London 4 1/2 Qwills.
VetGirl More than 1 year ago
My husband bought me the third book in this series in London, not knowing there were other books that came before it. I started reading it, then by about page 12 realized it must be part of a series, since there were several important plot points that were skimmed over - more like a gentle reminder to readers of previous books than an initial introduction. Anyway, the front of the book listed "Rivers of London" as the name of the first book so I searched everywhere for it, but could only find it used for way more money than a 2-year-old book should cost. I have access to 3 different library systems but none had it. Eventually, I went to the author's web site, where I finally found out that it was released under a different name ("Midnight Riot") and very different cover image in the US. Don't know why they do that. Besides, "Rivers of London" is really a much better title for the book. I was sucked into this series from page one, once I really started from the beginning. I read all three books back-to-back and am very happy that the next book is coming out soon (and that the name is the same on both sides of the Atlantic!). I wouldn't say I'm a fan of occult fiction per-se, but the magic here is tempered by some skepticism on the part of several major characters, including the protagonist, and quite a bit of fairly accurate scientific information. I think that's what makes the magic more believable here. The major plot lines in each book are interesting and slightly different, which keeps it fresh, and there is plenty of humor alongside the 'magical police detective' story to keep it light. Bottom line: Once I actually started from the beginning, I loved it and couldn't put it down. Would recommend it to people who enjoy Janet Evanovich, Sara Paretsky, and Sue Grafton. Similar smart but slightly inept protagonist - although here he is male unlike the female detectives in the other authors' work - working to solve crimes with a bit of magic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The glut of poorly written urban fantasies and paranormal erotica can make it hard to find a decent novel in the SF and Fantasy section of the bookstore. Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant novels are pearls in the pig sty. The main character is witty, flawed and likable and the fantasy elements are, if not exactly original, at least effectively deployed to keep the reader guessing. Overall Midnight Riot, and its sequel Moon Over Soho, are great fun and well worth the time.
KnitKicky More than 1 year ago
Reminiscent of the early Harry Dresden books, with a delighful sense of humor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great for Anglophiles; better than Mike Carey. A quick read, and lots of fun.
JaneGael More than 1 year ago
One of the best reads I've found in a long time. Probably the best thing I can say about it is that once I finished it I went straight out and bought the sequel "Moon Over Soho" and I'm eagerly awaiting the next book this spring. Ben Aaronovitch has leaped to the short list of My Favorite Writers and I don't expect he will ever be off of it. :)
Geek_Girl More than 1 year ago
Contemporary urban fantasy - set in London. The lead is a policeman by the name of Peter Grant who is suddenly introduced to the paranormal world when he meets a ghost. I liked this book - fresh ideas, interesting characters, good writing. Seems as though some of the characters/world building need a little more filling out, but I will certainly pick up the next in the series to see how it moves forward.
Aardtacha More than 1 year ago
It's a great book, and it's a pity that the US publisher decided to change the title from Rivers of London to this pathetic "Midnight Riot" garbage. Do they really think Americans are so insular we wouldn't read a book that mentions London? Nicely written, very entertaining, with a slightly snarky protagonist who is well aware of his limitations (a rather less annoying Spenser, for Parker fans). Read the first in Nottingham and promptly grabbed the four of them. Likeable characters and interesting plots
harstan More than 1 year ago
Because rookie British police officer Peter Grant can see ghosts, his superior at the Metropolitan Police Department, Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, switches him from the tedious clerical Case Progression Unit to assist on paranormal cases. Thus he sends the probationer new kid on the magical block to school for wizard training. Nightingale investigates a horrific serial assault case in which the violent attackers usually have their face fall off, but he has made no progress. The violence expands with fears that an epidemic will overwhelm the city and ultimately the nation. He knows he needs Grant who accelerates his formal magic education so he can help solve an ugly case that has it roots in the nation's rivers. This is a terrific urban fantasy police procedural in which the two cops make the unbelievable believable; especially the inexperienced Grant. The fast-paced yet meandering story line is loaded with action from the onset as the mentor and mentee work a challenging investigation in which an ancient has arisen to stir the troubled waters. Sub-genre fans will enjoy Ben Aaronovitch's view of London in this witty well written riot. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous 8 months ago
I love mysterirs based in England. This one is in London...never been there but loved traveling through it in this story. Keeps you interested all the way.
Anonymous 3 months ago
debinatlanta 6 months ago
Fantastic new series! I've devoured the first 4 books in this series and am waiting to start #5. Modern policing in London plus loads of nods to contemporary fantasy fiction. Brand new DC Peter Grant falls into the supernatural side of London almost by accident, becomes an apprentice wizard and acquires a ghost-hunting dog, all whilst attempting to solve horrible murders and inexplicable goings-on.
Drewano 8 months ago
I don’t know why but I just couldn’t get into the story. The characters are interesting and it’s well written but for some reason I just wasn’t into this one. Maybe it’s the fact that Peter is just learning how to do magic so we don’t get to see it that often. That being said the last quarter of the book was very good so maybe some more fun is in store in the next couple! If you’re a huge urban fantasy fan this book is probably for you, but the more casual fans may want to look someplace else.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Aaronovitch writes like a British Christopher Moore. I just loved this book.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I am a fan of police procedurals and this definitely had nothing in common with them. It seemed like I read and read and the subjects were so disjointed we never got to the real plot of the book. I have to say it's one of the strangest books I've read.
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