Sunday, July 15, 2012

Whispers Under Ground-Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground

Ben Aaronovitch

Del Rey, Jul 31 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780345524614

Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector and registered wizard Thomas Nightingale assigns sorcerer apprentice London Constable Peter Grant to follow up on the lead of archivist Postmartin as to the whereabouts of two illegally trained evil magicians. Detective Inspector Miriam Stephanopoulos asks Grant to look at the murder of an unidentified male at the Baker Street Underground Station. He finds no vestigium but checks the nearby tube tunnel where he finds the murder weapon is a magical potsherd.

The victim is American exchange student James Gallagher, a son of a U.S. Senator demanding answers. Stephanopoulos’ boss taunting cynical Soewell informs Grant he is now part of their murder investigation team since his Nightingale, who usually leads magical inquiries, is tied up with tracking the Faceless Man malevolent magician. FBI Agent Reynolds joins the team as does the other Folly member Constable Lesley May, who recently lost her face to a magical assault.

The third Peter Grant police procedural urban fantasy (see Midnight Riot and Moon Over Soho) is an exhilarating tale in which the actions and reactions of the cast starting with the “Hogwarts Express” make the Aaronovitch mythos seem real. The murder mystery is clever with ties to the Victorian age construction of the underground. Although the overarching premise widens with no forward progress, fans will enjoy the antics of the apprentice constable as he and his cohorts work the Whispers Under Ground whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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