“This little country retreat offers much in a way of a fresh, singular plot to devour with some real police action and adventure… it’s a witty instalment.”



I first read Rivers of London a couple years ago and although I enjoyed it, I wasn’t blown away with it. Then earlier this year I was in The Works and on their three for a fiver offer, I saw another of his books, Foxglove Summer.

This one is the fifth in the series, which I hadn’t realised when I bought it. The basic idea of the series is of crimes being investigated by a Met special unit called in when there is something odd, or perhaps ‘unearthly’.

In Foxglove Summer PC Peter Grant is called in to investigate the disappearance of two young girls in the Hereford/Leominster area, an area that is, at least in the book, a hot-spot for UFO sightings and other mysterious happenings. Grant is sent to investigate by his supervisor, DI Nightingale, based at their headquarters in The Folly. Grant’s first call is on Hugh Oswald, an old friend of Nightingale who may have information that he might be able to use. And at this point I found something that puzzled me.

Aaronovitch describes three men, ‘… two white guys watching a third split logs …’ And I thought, Why does he refer to ‘white guys’? Later he refers to ‘a white woman.’ He makes the same observations a number of times and I wondered if this was really needed in the 21st Century, and I don’t really see the need for it. However, this doesn’t distract too much from the story line, even though I don’t see the need for it.

The story rolls on through the normal investigations that the local police needed to do to look for the missing while Peter Grant goes off to do his own investigation into if there is anything other worldly or paranormal about the disappearances. Slowly he becomes aware that the area is steeped in magical influences going back centuries. Grant and the local cop sent to help him, and keep an eye on him, find the girls and take them back home. Don’t panic, it’s not the end of story, there’s a lot more to come, including Grant helping to make a river god would you believe.

Right now I will be keeping an eye open for more of his books. He writes in an easy to read voice, which is relief to me at least. Would I recommend it? Yes, I would, even if it isn’t the best book I’ve ever read. Fiction to my mind should about letting go of reality and spending sometime relaxing away from all life’s normal pressure. Aaronovitch allows you to do that, so go on, slip into Peter Grant’s life a cop with a difference.


Reviewed by:

Ron Clark

Added 27th January 2016

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Ron Clark