Monday, 7 May 2012

Moon Over Soho Review

Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant 2)
-       Ben Aaronovitch

Publisher: UK – Gollancz
The song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body—a sure sign that something about the man’s death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.
Body and soul—they’re also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace—one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard “Lord” Grant—otherwise known as Peter’s dear old dad

PC Peter Grant, trainee wizard is back, this time investigating the mysterious deaths of Jazz musicians in Soho. Peter is a typical twenties lad – interested in football, women and doing his job – in fact despite his magical abilities Peter is refreshing ordinary and as has been pointed out to him, not actually very good at police work. He is however keen to make magical measurable someway and his experiments and practise session give the world a solid grounding. No-one is suddenly brilliant at anything but the skills come with practise and familiarity.

A lot of police is dull paper work and while that comes across, it is also told with a dry wit that could give Stephen Fry a run for his money. Peter is very self-deprecating and normal but has a delicious talent for taking everyday observations and making them seem ridiculous. I love his voice and his lack of thoughts about the wider world. Leslie and even his boss, are not as big a presence in this book after the events of Rivers of London, but I enjoyed the freedom this gave Peter.

The writing is easy to follow and obviously written by someone who loves London and knows it well – I could follow the chase scenes vividly with my own knowledge. I was intrigued to learn something of London’s Jazz culture – something I’m not familiar with myself and I’m sure the attacks on men by the ‘Pale lady’ will have more than one man crossing his legs uncomfortably. There are enough chases and attacks to keep most action hunger satisfied while not all threads are wrapped up neatly, leaving the Folly with some very intriguing and dangerous enemies out there. I personally can’t wait until the next books, Whispers Under Ground comes out!

Recommended for fans of Jim Butcher and Neil Gaimen. 9 out of 10.


  1. Yay! Now we just have to wait for the third book to come out :))) I love this series! Great review, Mel, and what a twist in the end, ah?

  2. Now why can't anyone write a book set in my city? Lol, maybe cos London is a million times cooler ;)

  3. Oh would love this one just to get to know that London Jazz community. Sounds like a good book. Right up my alley! Thanks for letting me know of this one Mel!

  4. I loved Rivers of London, hoping to get to this book soon!