BOOK REVIEW: Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

I found this book on my Goodreads to read list. I have no idea where it came from but I did see that several of my friends had either added it or rated it highly so I decided to make it my latest read. It was definitely a good choice.

I have always enjoyed tales of magic and mystery but more often than not these kinds of stories are set far in the past, which can make them a bit stuffy and pretentious. Rivers of London on the other hand is a more modern take on the genre.

Peter Grant is a newly minted officer in the London Metropolitan Police with a one way ticket to the rather boring Case Progression Unit. That is until he is approached by a ghost while investigating a rather gruesome murder. It turns out that while Peter might not be the most observant bobby on the beat, he does have a kind of second sight, one that makes him perfect for a small secret branch of the met that deals with supernatural crimes.

Now Peter will have to deal not only with his new boss, the mysterious Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale but also training to be a wizard and navigating the supernatural underworld that enmeshes London. All of this while figuring out just what malevolent spirit is possessing ordinary Londoners and turning them violent.

I straight up loved Rivers of London. Peter is a really fun protagonist, who I kind of fancied a bit, which always helps and Aaronovitch has created a mythology that anyone who has ever lived in or visited London will love. Hell, I think you’d probably enjoy it even if you’d only read about the city or seen it in films and on television. The pace was cracking and I bolted through this wanting to know what was coming next.

This is the first in a series and I will absolutely be picking up the rest of them. If you’re at all a fan of Neil Gaiman, Terry Prachett or even Harry Potter – but more grown up – I would highly recommend this series.





  1. I’M SO GLAD YOU LOVED THIS!!! I’ve been a huge fan of the Peter Grant series for years, and am currently on my third listen through the whole series on Audible (sidenote: the narrator, Kobna Holdbrook-smith is beyond perfect – highly recommend a listen) Of course it’s always good to see someone else enjoying what you love, but I’m particularly pleased you loved it, Abbi, as I know you pull no punches and take no shit. And the series only gets better and more interesting. 🙂

    1. Now that is a nice review of me if I ever heard one! Thanks, Squeaky! I have to admit that I really struggle with audiobooks as my attention really wanders but I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series.

  2. Aaaaand I just realised I spelled Kobna H-S’s name wrong and i can’t edit. 🤦‍♀️

    1. I have done it for you 😉

  3. This sounds great, Abbi. As a dyed-in-the-wool Londoner who used to work for the Police, it has my name all over it.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I think you would absolutely love this, Pete!

  4. Just added this to my Amazon wish-list, and discovered it is a pretty big series indeed.
    Looks like fun.

  5. dominicself


    1. You were one of the people on Goodreads that made me want to read this. I am so glad I did.

  6. Oh, this sounds good. 5/5! Thanks for the recommendation.

    1. I hope you get to check it out, it’s such fun!

  7. […] about a London police detective and modern day Wizard in training called Peter Grant and absolutely loved the first book. After the heaviness that was reading Shantaram for three months, I decided it was time to go back […]

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