Monday 22 June 2015

#CBR7 Book 65: "Whispers Under Ground" by Ben Aaronovitch

Page count: 418 pages
Audio book length: 10 hrs 17 mins
Rating: 3.5 stars

An American art student is found murdered in Baker Street tube station, stabbed to death with a pottery shard. DC Peter Grant, apprentice wizard, senses magical vestigia on the shard, proving that there was something supernatural involved. None of the chief investigators on the case are happy to hear this. The exchange student's father turns out to be a US Senator, so the Americans send an FBI agent to assist in the case, complicating matters further, as it's unlikely that she'll take kindly to the explanation that the murder weapon appears magical in origin.

As his superior, Inspector Nightingale is busy trying to locate more of the "little crocodiles", apprentices and/or allies of "the Faceless Man", the rogue wizard that caused trouble for our heroes in the last book, Peter and Leslie May help investigate a case that makes it clear that there is more to the underground passages of London than anyone previously expected.

While I enjoyed the first two books in this series, this book didn't grab my attention as much, to the point where I actually had to go back and start the audio book over again, after over a month of not listening. I'd actually forgotten the beginning of the book. When I re-started my listening, I got through it faster and the resolution of the mystery was interesting, continuing to add to the world building of Aaronovich's series, but I didn't really think there was much development to any of the characters. Leslie is living in the Folly now, another apprentice to Nightingale, but still has to wear her mask everywhere, and is very uncomfortable taking it off in front of Peter.

It was a fun enough book, but having finished it about three weeks ago, I'm struggling to remember more than the rough outline of the plot. It wasn't by any means a bad book, but it's not exactly memorable or thrilling either. Kobna Holbrook-Smith continues to be a great narrator and I suspect I'll keep going with the series, if nothing else because I like his voice in my ear.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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