Ben Aaronovitch – The Hanging Tree

And here it is: the long awaited[1] sixth book in the series about Peter Grant, London police officer and magician. Sorry, Practitioner. Must get the terminology right.

After stepping outside his comfort zone (and outside the M25) in Foxglove Summer[2], Peter’s back in London, and as the cover suggests, very soon back in trouble, which he seems to attract like a thing that attracts things on a very attractive day.

He’s dragged into this one by a call from Tyburn, one of the incarnations of one of London’s rivers, who’s calling in an old favour.  This leads to problems with the seriously rich, a slight altercation in Harrods, a meeting with an old friend who isn’t quite so friendly, and an identification of an old enemy, he said vaguely.

There’s the usual mix of deadly danger, big bangs and Peter’s deadpan narration[3] and commentary on subjects such as architecture:

But there’s modern stuff I like. The Gherkin, the Lloyd’s building, even the Shard – despite the nagging feeling I get that Nazgûl should be roosting at the top.

And witnesses:

Which is a good demonstration of why eyewitnesses have all been a caution since Marc Anthony said ‘I dunno mate, they were all wearing togas’.

If there’s a downside to this book, it’s that unlike the earlier ones, it feels much more like it’s setting things up for the next one – not that it’s an incomplete story, but I got the real feeling that things are going to be getting seriously interesting, and I really want to know what happens next. Which, come to think of it, means Ben is doing his job very well indeed. I just hope the wait isn’t so long next time.

And if you need an extra dose of Peter Grant, there’s always the comic book, which I need to talk about…

[1] Seriously: it was originally scheduled for last year
[2] At some point, I’ll re-read the earlier books and do separate reviews
[3] The audiobooks narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith capture this perfectly.

2 thoughts on “Ben Aaronovitch – The Hanging Tree

  1. Pingback: Andrew Cartmel – The Vinyl Detective: The Run-out Groove | Losing it

  2. Pingback: Ben Aaronovitch – The Furthest Station | Losing it

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