Midnight Riot (Peter Grant Series #1) [NOOK Book]

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...
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Midnight Riot (Peter Grant Series #1)

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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.

From the Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

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
"It's very funny, it's very clever, it's very nicely written. . . . It's such a treat . . . so much fun." ---Nancy Pearl, KUOW
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345524584
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Series: Peter Grant Series , #1
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 19,895
  • File size: 3 MB

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.

From the Paperback edition.

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Interviews & Essays

Author Essay

I've always supplemented my nutritious and tasty science fiction and fantasy reading with a healthy dose of crime, and ever since I can remember I've always rooted for the detectives. For me Clarice Starling was the star of Silence of the Lambs, not Hannibal Lector, and while I find the antics of Elmore Leonard's myriad lowlifes amusing I always hanker for the moment when the heavy hand of the law lands on their shoulder and the cuffs go on. In short, my subgenre of choice is what's known as the police procedural, or as the French call it, le policier.

The undisputed king of American procedurals is Evan Hunter, writing under the name of Ed McBain. If you wanted to know the single biggest influence on the Peter Grant books (Midnight Riot and Moon Over Soho, with a third coming this fall), it would be his 87th Precinct novels, which started with Cop Hater in 1956 and continued until Hunter's death in 2005. I challenge anyone to find a fantasy world as lovingly and meticulously created as the unnamed imaginary city in which the 87th Precinct novels take place, and certainly no braver heroes in song and story than the working stiffs who solve the mysteries.

One thing I always remember about the novels is that they contain official-looking forms and interrogation transcripts illustrating police procedure. Under this influence I went forth and delved into the arcane and Byzantine world of London's Metropolitan Police Service, with its AWARE terminals and HOLMES 2 computer systems, the HAT car, MISPERs, FATACs, and every copper's friend, the Evidence and Action Book, which contains all the forms you absolutely have to have filled in before you can book your suspect into the custody suite – even if they're a werewolf.

The 87th Precinct series is also why Peter Grant isn't "the chosen one" or the uniquely gifted child of two warring races, it's why he doesn't have a Maori tattoo and why he carries a standard Metropolitan Police extendable baton, not a katana. It's why he's a hardworking flat-foot who sometimes is deadly afraid when he walks down those mean streets, and yet still does his duty because it's his job and he swore an oath.

I like to think that Detective 2nd Grade Steve Carella and the rest of the boys in the bullpen back at the old 87th would have approved.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 88 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(43)

4 Star

(36)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 88 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great start to a new Urban Fantasy series - 4 1/2 Stars

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2013

    Great book - confusing title

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining Urban Fantasy

    Reminiscent of the early Harry Dresden books, with a delighful sense of humor.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    Good fun

    Great for Anglophiles; better than Mike Carey. A quick read, and lots of fun.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Well written Urban Fantasy Mystery

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2012

    Great New Series - Great New Writer!

    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. :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    terrific urban fantasy police procedural

    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

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2013

    It's a great book, and it's a pity that the US publisher decided

    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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

    Bay~

    Name~ Bay<p> Looks~ Her once cream brown fur is matted down with blood and mud. She has one good eye. Which is a hazel. Her left back leg dosen't work.<p> Personality~ Hard on herself, edgy, perky, witty, and strong.<p> History~ Was born in Evil within and grew up in GOA. Left because her old crush, Toxin had told her he didn't like her. He forcematted her. Because she wanted him really badly. She left and became a rouge. She gose to many evil clans to get to know cats.<p> Crush~ None. Well, Maybe..<p> Kits~ She's secretly expecting Toxin's kits. <p> Others~ Hates love. Wishes she could love.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Hellfire

    Name Hellfire <p> Description A midnight black she with dark ginger legs and the same ginger blaze on her chest <p> Kin Blackensorrow(sis), Heatedburn(bro), Stormblaze(mom), Enchantedhell(dad) <p> Gender she <p> Kits none (expected in future) <p> Mate Greyhaze <p> History Quite complicated, basically; a tale of sorrow and revenge <p> Eyes golden ambure <p> Want to know anything else? Get to know her or ask

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Bios/Slash's bio

    NAME: Slash GENDER: Tom(male) RANK: Leader BIO: He was attacked by his own family members, three Clan leaders and even kits. He swore revenge on all those Clans that go by the warrior code. DESCTIPRTION: Raven-black with amber eyes, long claws, scars all over. NO MATE, KITS, CRUSH, KIN.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2013

    This is a terrifically entertaining  police procedural... if tha

    This is a terrifically entertaining  police procedural... if that's the London Magic Police.  This urban fantasy novel is a page turner!  It's sometimes violent or horrifying and very often funny.  Beautifully written.  Great hero.  Fascinating urban mythology.  In some ways this book reminds me of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.  High praise!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2012

    Delightful Read

    Ordinarily I'm not a fan of urban fantasy novels, so I don't know what posessed me to try this, but I'm very glad I did. This was a delightful story to read. The fantastical elements were seamlessly blended with the real, so that if one could posit a world where magic and supernatural beings existed, it would be logical for these elements to need policing, and this story would naturally result. The characters are vivid, realistic, and unique, and London has never been more appealing. (London is as integral to this series, as Gotham is to the Batman stories, or Ankh Morpork is to the Night Watch; in such stories, the city itself is a character.) The story, too, is well plotted and laced with wit and humor. Although I can catch echoes of the Dirk Gently stories, or Good Omens, this story is uniquely its own, and can stand beside them as something to turn to when craving something like those, but newer.

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    Must-read book of 2011

    This is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time, certainly this year. Good police procedural, fascinating supernatural characters and really grounded in place. Definitely not your everyday vampire/werewolf mystery!

    My minor quibble isn't really about the book at all. The original name (and cover), Rivers of London, is much better - I hate the practice of adapting books for different markets.

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  • Posted November 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very funny, and interesting

    Great humor, with a most unusual premise.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

    Not too shabby

    London is my home town and i have always had soft spot for any stories set in London. Ben has crafted a great story which made me smile at the references to both idioms which are very English and set in a place i know well. I will be buying his other books when i see them and look forward to reading more.

    I love discovering a new author, it rare I discover one this entertaining.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fascinating Characters!

    I enjoyed the world building, and the mystery, but what makes this book worth buying is the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed Peter Grant's point of view. He's very observant of the people and world around him, which brings both the city of London and the other characters he meets to vibrant life. I was drawn into the story by all the telling details, and Peter's wry sense of humor. The secondary characters, like Leslie, Beverly, and Nightingale, were all a pleasure to meet and get to know. I will definitely be getting the next book.

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    Entertaining and fun read

    Enjoyed this novel-there are some great, comic lines. I love English humor. This novel is set in modern England and the main character is an English constable-providig a nice change. This book is paranormal fantasy.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    Highly enjoyable

    Great light read to entertain.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    So-So

    I don't know why this took me so long to finish. All the right elements were there. It was funny, although more so in the beginning. An interesting plot. Likeable main characters. It was written well. It just seemed to drag a bit, although even the parts that were dragging were well written, I just didn't feel like slugging through them to get to the point. It wasn't bad by any means, and I could see why someone would rate it higher, maybe I just wasn't in the right mood.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 88 Customer Reviews

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