Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

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Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

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Category: Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Gina Garnett
Reviewed by Gina Garnett
Summary: Clever, funny and surprisingly lifelike, this is the fourth book in the Peter Grant series and it upholds all the high standards set by the previous books.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 357 Date: July 2013
Publisher: Gollancz
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0575132467

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I’ve been waiting for Broken Homes to come out for months. Months. When it arrived on my doorstep, I whisked it away, cackling like Gollum over my new precious and was no use to anyone until I’d finished it. Then sat and thought about it for a while. Then re-read my favourite bits. The considered further. This is the conclusion I reached: if there are no further Peter Grant books, Mr Aaronovitch, you and I are going to have words.

We re-join Peter in his quest to bring the elusive and evil Faceless Man to the fullest and mightiest justice the Metropolitan Police can manage. This time, all signs point to Skygarden – the notorious tower block and original sink estate. South of the river is out of his manor, but Peter must link two murders, a puzzling suicide and a stolen book if he’s to have any hope of nicking the twisted mug. Of course, while doing this he’s got to try keep the mysterious powers of the Thames deities and Bromley Murder Team appeased and Abigail Kamara out of trouble. Easier said.

This series has been utterly immersive, right from the start. After reading Rivers of London, I walked past a famous landmark featured in the book and thought Wow, they fixed that up well after the fire…. This touch has not been lost. Some of the locations in Broken Homes are fictional. Unless you know the area they’ve been put in, you would never guess. Architectural and social history, place in relation to existing landmarks and tube stations…all they’re missing is a postcode.

I’m not familiar with the inner workings of the most mighty army for justice, but he’s certainly got me convinced that all of that is accurate (within reason), too. This book is fascinating. Not only the real stuff and the stuff which is real enough to blend in, but the obvious and considerable thought that’s been given to how magic works, what the supernatural is and how it can fit into the modern world.

The characters are becoming people I know. Not only in the sense that a good author can manage, where you grieve them or sympathise with them, but in the sense that only an amazing author can manage, where you find yourself disappointed in them if the make a certain choice (I won’t say who, in case it spoils it) and even when you find yourself thinking I must tell Peter about so and so. Hopefully, you’ve all read at least one book that gives you this experience, as otherwise I sound ready for committal.

Plenty of mysteries have been left as cliffhangers of various depths and I’m taking that as a hopeful sign that there’s more to come (I’m watching you, Ben). Those of you who’ve read the others, you won’t be disappointed in the latest and those of you who haven’t, I recommend you do so.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Promise of Blood (Powder Mage Trilogy) by Brian McClellan. You might enjoy The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold but we had our reservations.

Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London Novels in Chronological Order

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Buy Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch at

Booklists.jpg Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch is in the Top Ten Fantasy Books of 2013.


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