Title: Midnight Riot
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: Del Rey
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5
Peter Grant is a Constable in the London police department, but he doesn’t have much of a future there. Though he dreams of making detective, the powers that be are trying to ban him to the back rooms, pushing papers for the rest of his days. But on Peter’s last case, he is faced with a puzzling murder, and interviews an eyewitness that no one else can see – a ghost. When Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale realizes that Peter has supernatural abilities, he takes Peter under his wing to teach him about magic.
Urban fantasy is a genre that has been on my mind as of late, so when I first read about Midnight Riot, I was intrigued. I was eager to start this new urban fantasy series, and once I began, I was hooked from the first few pages.
Peter Grant is an appealing main character. The reader can understand his frustration; from the beginning, it’s easy to tell that he is being overlooked and his peers underestimate his abilities. When he meets Nightingale, things finally start falling into place for him. Grant is smart and curious, and he puts things together well in his head. While I’d love some more character development for him in future books, Grant was off to a great start in Midnight Riot.
The mix between police procedural and urban fantasy works very well in Midnight Riot. Aaronovitch really excels in both genres, such that the puzzle behind the murders is just as interesting as the revelations about the magic behind the world we live in. The book does drag a little towards the middle, but generally speaking, Aaronovitch managed to keep my interest while delivering an entertaining story, full of colorful characters. Indeed, it is really the varied characters that keep the reader engaged in the novel, as they are very creative.
Midnight Riot was an interesting first book in this series, and I really enjoyed the time I spent with it. Whether you’re an urban fantasy fan or someone looking for an introduction to the genre, I definitely recommend you consider picking up this book. I’ll be seeking out the second book in the series, Moon Over Soho, as it’s already been released in the US.