Review: The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant / Rivers of London #6), by Ben Aaronovitch

February 2, 2017 Review 0

Review: The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant / Rivers of London #6), by Ben AaronovitchThe Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch
Series: Peter Grant / Rivers of London #6
Published by Orion Publishing Group, Limited on November 3rd 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Occult & Supernatural, Urban Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 387
Source: NetGalley
Sexual Content: References to sex.
Reviewed by: Kim
4 Stars

Suspicious deaths are not usually the concern of PC Peter Grant or the Folly, even when they happen at an exclusive party in one of the most expensive apartment blocks in London. But Lady Ty's daughter was there, and Peter owes Lady Ty a favour. Plunged into the alien world of the super-rich, where the basements are bigger than the house and dangerous, arcane items are bought and sold on the open market, a sensible young copper would keep his head down and his nose clean. But this is Peter Grant we're talking about. He's been given an unparalleled opportunity to alienate old friends and create new enemies at the point where the world of magic and that of privilege intersect. Assuming he survives the week . . .

I lost track of how many police interviews Peter and his team conducted, and I loved it. THE HANGING TREE is a solid police workhorse of a novel, where a small team of people who can do magic, and their only slightly bigger team of backup personnel, try to keep the property and collateral damage to a minimum while doing their job. It would be easier if magical mad men weren’t out for revenge and rich people weren’t dying. And if houses didn’t keep exploding with Peter inside them.

The magic is terrifically scientific, and Peter, as a novice practitioner, explains in terms of experiments and the different smells and feelings he gets when different people use their magic. Some people smell of saffron, while others feel like a blade on wet leather. It was all incredibly charming and helped make the magic more interesting.

I’d only ever read a graphic novel short story based in the Rivers of London world, and there were quite a few times where I felt like the book was quizzing me on things I didn’t know. There are so many different organisations, secret cabals and miscellaneous government bodies mentioned that I kept losing track. My only true criticism of the book is that I wish there had been less occult name-dropping.

The world of Rivers of London river goddesses, wizards, fairies and tons of paperwork. There is enough variety in the weirdness that I can see this series staying fresh and I’m interested in reading the earlier novels. It’s pure urban fantasy goodness with a multicultural London flair.

Series Titles:
  1. Rivers of London
  2. Moon over Soho
  3. Whispers Underground
  4. Broken Homes
  5. Foxglove Summer
More Reviews: Similar Titles:
  • For another "realistic" police-based urban fantasy novel, check out Shade Chaser by Clara Coulson.
  • For more urban fantasy with a London flair, try A Madness of Angels, by Matthew Swift.
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