Rather embarrassingly in the last review I posted [here] I spelt the name of the author wrong. Who then proceeded to read, comment and share my review with his fans [because he liked the review, not because he wanted to mock me for spelling his name wrong], so in writing this I have checked, and double checked, and then checked again to ensure that I have gotten the name of the author indeed correct. Not that I think more authors are going to read these reviews, I don’t write them for that, I write them because I like to reflect on the nature of the book that I have finished reading, and that perhaps people out there may be interested in what I have to say. Probably not, but I like to think so.
So; the book on today’s agenda, as you may well have guessed from the title of the blog, is called “Moon Over Soho”, the first sequel to the debut “Rivers of London” [known in the US as “Midnight Riot”, not really sure what changing the title achieves, but there you go]. “Moon Over Soho” brings back most of the characters from the first book in some form or another, from some of the spirits of the Thames, Lesley, Nightingale, and even the MIT and Stephanopolos [yeah, I know, I think the author choose the name for pretentiousness and longevity].
The basic plot in the sequel is that there have been a spate of deaths that relate together through the medium of “jazz”. Musicians seem to be dropping like flies [well, three], and alongside this Grant is also investigating a series of murders where the victims have all had their, ahem, private parts chopped off. With teeth. Not of the mouth variety. There is also the underlying plot of all the main characters dealing with the events of the first book – Lesley’s injury’s, Nightingale’s recovery and the such like. There’s a bit of a bombshell at the end as well, which makes me want to jump straight into the next book, but in all honesty as much as I enjoy reading them there I need a break from the way that Aaronovitch writes – it’s witty, funny, contemporary, sarcastic… but not something that I can read constantly for a prolonged amount of time.
In hindsight I think that the “jazz vampires” as Peter Grant calls them, for lack of a better term, was pretty obvious, and a way to set up the main plotline that I’m sure will prevail through the next book, and probably the series [let’s say Voledmort, and then you can read and find out for yourself who/what/why and the such like]. I also think, unless I missed something big, which in all honesty is likely, I didn’t really get the storyline of the “Pale Lady” the one going around and removing people’s private parts, aside from a rather convenient way to kill off the suspects of the main investigation, and then the people that could help progress the investigation and get some answers.
Bearing in mind the sort of cases Peter Grant was investigating I think the bit that I found most annoying of this instalment of the book was the amount of time Peter was having it off with one of the people involved in the investigation [suspect=someone you shouldn’t be have relations with]. I don’t want to say too much without giving the whole plotline away, but you would have thought that Peter would have been a bit more careful about that sort of thing. And besides, I thought he was in a relationship with Lesley, at least that’s what I thought from the ending of the first book. Clearly I’d got the wrong end of the stick there.
I feel as though there is an added element of magic in this book. Peter is learning making slow progress, but at least it is progress. He gets distracted with little magical experiments much to the annoyance of his Master as he wants to find out more about magic itself. It’s like he has become a scientist in his own rights, he wants to know what makes magic, where it comes from, and it’s this curiosity, and this need for knowledge that drives his actions towards the end of the book. It’s not the sort of resolution you would have guessed, and I was genuinely sad for Peter when his plans for the jazz vampires didn’t quite come through – but I liked that he looked at them not as though they were normal vampires needing to be dusted, but creatures, humans that needed to be understood as to why they had become the people they had.
I think it is a bit strange that everyone that Peter has talked to, his parents, Lesley, just sort of accepts the magic without any question about it. It’s there, and it’s just Peter, and it’s his course in life.
There’s a quote on the front of the book from one of the newspapers that reviewed the first book, and it simply says, “This is what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the fuzz”.
I agree. And will leave it there, and I hope that you will enjoy this book as much as did.