A while ago, my lovely friends Darren and Laura bought me a hardback, signed copy of Rivers of London. They reasoned that it looked to be exactly my cup of tea, and it was dedicated to a dear mutual friend of ours. It went on my to be read pile and then stayed there for a bit, because at the same time I got a kindle, and the whizzbang bit of tech was my new best friend.
Well, just recently I decided that if I wasn’t going to shove the very lovely hardback into my handbag then I would bloody well get the ebook version and read that. The hardback remains pristine on a shelf... the point is, I recently finished Rivers of London and now I’m on to Moon Over Soho, and I’m very glad I got my finger out and read it, because these books are great.
I’ve read genre books before set in modern London, and apart from the fabulous Neverwhere I’ve never really connected with them. They never really felt like my London, the London I grew up in and work in and live in now, the London I love right down to my toes. Arronovitch knows the city and loves it, and he writes it brilliantly. It probably helps that he’s writing about places I have a fondness for (Soho, Covent Garden, Holborn) but it’s about more than that; PC Grant is a modern Londoner in every sense, and his droll affection for the city, wary street sense and family strife are London all over. Plus, he’s an immensely likeable and genuinely funny character; add that to a sprinkling of geeky references (how can you not love a book that mentions Doctor Who and Fringe and Playstations?) and a cast of supporting characters that brighten the story rather than distracting from it, and you’ve got a pretty top series of books, in my opinion.