Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4)
A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil; an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common or garden serial killer?Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his case-load.So far so London.But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans and inhabited by the truly desperate.Is there a connection?And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River?

Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4) Details

TitleBroken Homes (Peter Grant, #4)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 25th, 2013
PublisherGollancz
ISBN-139780575132467
Rating
GenreFantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Magic

Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4) Review

  • carol.
    January 1, 1970
    If you've read any other Broken Homes reviews or checked out the range of ratings, you'll know that opinion on this book runs the gamut. For me, Aaronovich is starting to feel like he is coming into his own. It's mature, developed writing with rich characters and a thoughtfully developed magic and supernatural system. Without doubt, pacing is a little off from a traditional detective story, but I found that for me, it reflected the inconsistent nature of real-life police work; one does not work If you've read any other Broken Homes reviews or checked out the range of ratings, you'll know that opinion on this book runs the gamut. For me, Aaronovich is starting to feel like he is coming into his own. It's mature, developed writing with rich characters and a thoughtfully developed magic and supernatural system. Without doubt, pacing is a little off from a traditional detective story, but I found that for me, it reflected the inconsistent nature of real-life police work; one does not work a case to the exclusivity of all others, and sometimes the pieces are slow to fit into place. The result is a plot that is a little more "day in the life" until it gestalts together at the end, but was an enjoyable tour on the way. If you want nicely sophisticated characters, sly humor and an insider's view to England, this is an excellent installment in a quality urban fantasy detective series.The summary: Peter and Leslie are at the Folly, developing their magic skills and researching an Oxford University dining club group that was learning magic a couple of decades ago. Research is interrupted when they're called to an unusual car accident that resulted in one of the driver's deaths. Blood in the back seat leads them to another dead body--strangely missing a face. It sets off vague internal alarms, but with nothing clear to go on, Peter continues on with his mandatory Officer Safety training. As someone who was required to attend annual recertifications every year, I found his asides on the usual dry dust mandatory topics to be snort-worthy:"The morning lecture was on stop and search with reference to spotting suspicious behavior... he did warn us to make an exception for tourists, because London needed the foreign currency." There's a sidebar with a River peace summit and a cameo with the Folly cadet, giving more insight into the complicated nature of supernatural politics. At one point in the case, Peter and Leslie go undercover at an estate (project housing), giving a very unique glimpse from a police perspective into the local human denizens. "I know trouble when it's below the age of criminal responsibility, and while my first instinct was to arrest his parents on general principles, I gave him a cheery wave instead."I was really enjoying the mischievous, dry wit until about page 200 or so when Aaronvitch started to become quite serious. The wit was still there, but more sly, less frequent, letting the reader focus on the impact of the story. I found it refreshing; although I love a snarky remark, at a certain point, they become incongruent with the emotion of the story.Honestly, I can't say enough. I love Aaronvich's tone and style. I love that his dogs are dogs, but are still amusing; that Peter is not an anti-hero, and as wry as he is, still believes in loyalty and justice; that Peter doesn't describe all women in terms of sexability, just the one(s) he wants to have sex with; that magic isn't easy; that magic is part of an ambient system living all around us; that Peter is self-depreciating as much as he chaffs others. Add to it that unlike most UF books, the police are not bumbling idiots or obstructive foils, and you have a UF detective read with a very different flavor.I think it is also worth noting that these books have high re-read potential. Ilona Andrews recently noted "a writer can teach the readers pretty much anything through the narrative, but the lower is that starting threshold, the wider is the audience." Aaronovich doesn't handhold the reader, resulting in a higher threshold. He uses London slang, British police vocabulary, architectural terms and stories that are heavily influenced by local geography. Yet, I feel so satisfied after reading his works. This ending especially was a gobsmacker. I wouldn't call it a cliff-hanger, exactly, since I'm pretty confident in his characterizations and Peter's reflections. I think Aaronovich's tv roots are showing, and it's more of a titillating lead-in to the next installment. There's a reason I've made an effort to get the series in hardcover--I want them around for a long time.Laughs:"Arts and Antiques, definitely not known by the rest of the Met as the Arts and Crafts squad, occasionally recover an item so valuable that even the evidence storage locker in the middle of New Scotland Yard isn't secure enough.""I said she could have a look around the fair as long as she didn't talk to any strange people.'Okay,' she said.'Or strange things,' I said.'Whatever,' she said and skipped off.'Or strange things that are also people,' I called after her.""'They're probably waiting for one of us to get freeze dried,' said Lesley, whose attitude towards taser deployment was that people with heart conditions, epilepsy and an aversion to electrocution should not embark upon breaches of the peace in the first place."
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  • Nataliya
    January 1, 1970
    "This book is dedicated to all the people who get up and do something about it, whatever “it” is and however small the thing it is they do." With this perfect dedication, Broken Homes - the fourth entry in Ben Aaronovitch's series about a snarky, geeky and ultimately good London Police Constable Peter Grant, employed in the subdivision of the Metropolitan police focused on magical side of the society - hit the high note from the very beginning and remained very good until the last page.A few th "This book is dedicated to all the people who get up and do something about it, whatever “it” is and however small the thing it is they do." With this perfect dedication, Broken Homes - the fourth entry in Ben Aaronovitch's series about a snarky, geeky and ultimately good London Police Constable Peter Grant, employed in the subdivision of the Metropolitan police focused on magical side of the society - hit the high note from the very beginning and remained very good until the last page.A few things always stand out for me in Aaronovitch's series and make his books quite special.First is the very distinct narrative voice of Peter Grant - a bit snarky, a bit smartass, full of endless geeky references and quite a bit of self-deprecating humor, and so captivating that, I swear, I'd read about grocery shopping and plumbing if Peter Grant was narrating it. "I’d love to stick some high vestigia material into a mass spectrometer, but first I’d have to get myself a mass spectrometer and then I’d have to learn enough physics to interpret the bloody results." Second is the unbelievably vivid atmosphere of the streets and buildings of architecturally beautiful multicultural London, described so lovingly and fully that even this non-Londoner reader feels that she just took a stroll along the Thames. Speaking of the Thames - I finally decided to search for a map with all the 'lost' rivers of London, mostly tributaries of the Thames that had long ago been converted to underground rivers. And read quite a bit about Heygate Estate which provided inspiration for Skygarden Estate in this book.Third is the continuing emphasis on keeping these stories as much of police procedural as possible, with constant reminders that keeping the peace comes with the burden of regulations and paperwork and long hours spent gathering evidence and staring at miles of CCTV footage and juggling many different investigative threads that do not always conveniently come together to reveal a bigger picture. Mundane routine is the reality of police life, Aaronovitch emphasizes it, and his characters navigate the system in a way that makes you believe they are actually part of real-life police force. "It’s a police mantra that all members of the public are guilty of something, but some members of the public are more guilty than others." Peter Grant books avoid the common pitfall of so many stories that feature anyone with supernatural abilities: the immediate disregard of anyone not magical and resulting complete despising of police force as little but clueless buffoons good for nothing except for throwing obstacles in the way of the heroes. It's not so in Peter Grant series. Police force are the competent people who are perfectly capable of working side by side with their slightly more supernaturally inclined colleagues, even if it means creating just a tad more paperwork than planned. "So I waited in the porch and wrote up my notes. I have two sets, the ones that go in my Moleskine and the slightly edited ones that go into my official Met issue book. This is very bad procedure, but sanctioned because there are some things the Met doesn’t want to know about officially. In case it might upset them." These stories also not only feature a wide array of non-white characters (as would be appropriate in a city as multicultural as London), but have quite unique in our literature approach of actually integrating race in the story, casually mentioning race in the description of many white characters, thus subverting the unspoken rule that only non-white characters' race needs to be specified since white is the assumed default. No, here race is just one of the descriptors, applied to white people as well, and that reads very refreshing and common-sense.The humor of this book deserves a separate shout-out. It's very British (I assume, not being British myself), quite dry, quite intelligent. Combined with the uber-Britishness of this book (again, assumed by me, a non-British reader) it creates a very memorable and very British setting, requiring me - happily - to resort to Google a few times to make sure I understand what's being said and why it's funny.Broken Homes is very much a middle-of-the story book. The threads started in the previous three - including the greater and greater focus on the villainous Faceless Man - continue here without much hand-holding from the author to remind you where we left off. This book counts on you being quite familiar with the characters and events from the preceding three as it throws you right in the middle of continuing storyline. The flipside of this is that you should not expect all - or even some - of the storylines pursued here to wrap up by the end of this book; no, they will continue into the sequel as by now they all are just little threads of one larger story, leaving you in the meantime with hanging burning questions and no satisfaction of having them answered yet. "See, I thought as I waited for the lift, someone tries to kill you and suddenly you’re all cautious." Peter Grant ("I could have used my magical abilities to get a closer look, but instead I used the zoom function on my phone"), Lesley May ("[... ] whose attitude toward taser deployment was that people with heart conditions, epilepsy and an aversion to electrocution should not embark upon breaches of the peace in the first place") and Thomas Nightingale ("Nightingale gave me the same long-suffering look he gives me when I accidentally blow up fire extinguishers, fall asleep while he’s talking, or fail to conjugate my Latin verbs") are pursuing their leads to uncover the identity and the associates of the mysterious and dangerous Faceless Man while solving a few murders, a theft, establishing a connection of a sink estate to all of this and policing a supernatural deity fair - all while trying their best to stay alive and caught up with paperwork. “That which does not kill us,” I said, “has to get up extra early in the morning if it wants to get us next time.” It starts with the usual lighthearted humor full of witty banter, but somewhere around the halfway mark the tone becomes more and more serious as Skygarden becomes the primary investigative location, and not only social issues are raised to the surface with apt social commentary (for instance, the struggle of the mostly poor inhabitants of the estate taking up space that could have been used for something infinitely more lucrative) but also the long-standing character tensions come to light, including Lesley's painful struggle to live with her 'ruined' face and the toll it takes on her - sometimes too subtle for Peter to actually see.And then, like a punch in the gut, the ending comes - unexpectedly and yet not that much, as throughout the book little clues were dropped alerting you that something was amiss, something was different, something was about to crack. And yet, whether you saw it coming or not, the impact remains - both on Peter and the reader, making me immediately go and look up when the next book in the series is due (and resolving to buy it as soon as it comes out, even if I have to pay for the extra shipping from Britain). It's painful and sad and leads to so many questions, and having your heart break for Peter just a bit. 4.5 stars and the countdown to the next book release begins. "Sometimes, when you turn up on their doorstep, people are already expecting bad news. Parents of missing kids, partners that have heard about the air crash on the news— you can see it in their faces— they’ve braced themselves. And there’s a strange kind of relief, too. The waiting is over, the worst has happened and they know that they will ride it out. Some don’t, of course. Some go mad or fall into depression or just fall apart. But most soldier through.But sometimes they haven’t got a clue and you arrive on their doorstep like god’s own sledgehammer and smash their life to pieces. You try not to think about it, but you can’t help wondering what it must be like.Now I knew." ----------My reviews for the first three books in this series are here: 'Rivers of London' (a.k.a. 'Midnight Riot' in the US), 'Moon Over Soho' and 'Whispers Under Ground'.
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  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    I have returned to the urban fantasy world of PC Peter Grant based at The Folly, and a wonderful police procedural series set in underground magical London. It has a great sense of location in London and makes the most of the buildings and character of the city. We have the policing of the Spring Court, attended by the major river gods with all the attendant festivities and stalls. There are the undercurrents apparent between Peter and Beverly Brook, a slow heating romance in the making. Lesley I have returned to the urban fantasy world of PC Peter Grant based at The Folly, and a wonderful police procedural series set in underground magical London. It has a great sense of location in London and makes the most of the buildings and character of the city. We have the policing of the Spring Court, attended by the major river gods with all the attendant festivities and stalls. There are the undercurrents apparent between Peter and Beverly Brook, a slow heating romance in the making. Lesley is switching between two different face masks after the damage she incurred to her face. Apparently random events occur which end up with Peter, and his partner Lesley. Robert Weil is involved in a fatal traffic accident. His name sets off bells with Peter and it leads to a woman shot in the face, whose body is discovered in Crawley. Sergeant Jaget Kumar of the British Transport Police draws Peter's attention to the strange apparent suicide of Richard Lewis at an underground station. Lewis was a planner at Southwark Council. Thief and burglar, Patrick Mulkern's corpse is discovered in Bromley, burnt from the inside out. Then there is the odd heart attack that kills the young Richard Dewsbury, a real estate auditor. A stolen German Grimoire leads to Eric Stromberg, the architect of Skygardens, a council estate imbued with industrial magic and the focus of conflict between developers and residents who desire to remain. Peter and Lesley end up living on the estate as they delve deeper into the mysteries there. We encounter a Russian nightwitch, and Nightingale proves his mettle at a battle on a farm. All the incidents turn out to be connected and there is a shocker of a twist in the finale.This was a great read with a mixed pacing that mirrors the action in the different parts of the novel. Peter is an outstanding and complex character who is determined and full of initiative. He is supported by a brilliant cast of characters, magical and otherwise. Once again, the Faceless Man proves to be a powerful, menacing and challenging adversary to both Peter and Nightingale. I so enjoyed reading this and I recommend this series without reservation.
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  • Victoria Schwab
    January 1, 1970
    I adore this series. Police procedural with supernatural villains and wizard cops.
  • Lyn
    January 1, 1970
    A change of pace keeps this series ROLLING!Aaronovitch’s 2013 entry into his FREAKING AWESOME! contemporary fantasy series set in London and involving paranormal shenanigans has MORE! magic and world building and MORE! FREAKING AWESOME! characters and magic rues.Up to now I’ve complimented Aaronovitch for his police procedurals that included some MAGIC! and PARANORMAL! elements. This time around, we delve much more deeply into the MAGIC! world building that Aaronovitch has set up for us.Peter an A change of pace keeps this series ROLLING!Aaronovitch’s 2013 entry into his FREAKING AWESOME! contemporary fantasy series set in London and involving paranormal shenanigans has MORE! magic and world building and MORE! FREAKING AWESOME! characters and magic rues.Up to now I’ve complimented Aaronovitch for his police procedurals that included some MAGIC! and PARANORMAL! elements. This time around, we delve much more deeply into the MAGIC! world building that Aaronovitch has set up for us.Peter and Lesley are tracking down some MYSTERIOUS! murders involving MAGIC! and so the Folly crew is activated. Along the way we spend some more time with the RIVER GODS AND GODDESSES! as well as a GOBLIN! and some kind of TREE NYMPH! or DRYAD! and Peter and Lesley continue to work their way up to higher level spells. I especially like the way Aaronovitch was clearly influenced and inspired by DUNGEONS & DRAGONS! for much his magic rules.The last quarter of the book was finished in a SPRINT OF FRENETIC READING! as we learn more about THE FACELESS MAN! and his MORIARTY! like nefarious schemes. I finished absolutely powerless and unable to PUT THE BOOK DOWN!!If this series were tobacco I’d be a chain smoker; if it were alcohol I’d be a messy drunk. I’m hooked and having the BEST! time reading all these.FUN!
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  • carol.
    January 1, 1970
    I loves it so much that this may be the reason I join Audible. Or is there another way for me to owns my precious?Holdbrook-Smith's narration coupled with Aaronovitch's story is an absolutely splendid combination. Peter Grant has a dry, wry bent, and Holdbrook-Smith is allowing the emotion to come through, even allowing himself to become exclamatory in a couple of parts. Holdbrook-Smith also has an amazing ability to convey a range of types. He must truly be an actor's actor. He does the genteel I loves it so much that this may be the reason I join Audible. Or is there another way for me to owns my precious?Holdbrook-Smith's narration coupled with Aaronovitch's story is an absolutely splendid combination. Peter Grant has a dry, wry bent, and Holdbrook-Smith is allowing the emotion to come through, even allowing himself to become exclamatory in a couple of parts. Holdbrook-Smith also has an amazing ability to convey a range of types. He must truly be an actor's actor. He does the genteel tones of Dr. Morehouse awkwardly reading a German title contrasted with Nightingale's smooth description of the same title. His Nightingale is absolutely pat--I hear him and Peter as two different people by now. Zach's indignant hippie vibe continues to amuse. His readings of female lines are just as apt, from the working-class busybody in the Gardens to the weary bemusement of the Nightwitch. It's worth noting a couple of things. One, re-listening added to my enjoyment and understanding. Pacing was different than a traditional story because it really is more police-procedural. As Peter and the Folly continue to investigate suspicious occurrences, some will matter to the overall arc and some won't. Second, this is amazing and heart-wrenching with more suspense than the last book. This is where the series gets serious. Thankfully, there are still some humorous parts--such as a literal pissing contest. Apparently, as my notes from the first read attest, I'm still amused by many of the same lines.My review of the story: Broken Homes
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  • Philip
    January 1, 1970
    3.5ish stars.In some ways this is the most satisfying yet, in others it's the most frustrating. As is typical for the series, the plot is... meandering. More here than in previous books even, despite it's return to what seems to be the overarching plot line connecting the books. And I feel like that's just true to its police procedural reality- I imagine actual police officers are engaging in various types of business and following multiple leads at any given time- it's just a little manic and i 3.5ish stars.In some ways this is the most satisfying yet, in others it's the most frustrating. As is typical for the series, the plot is... meandering. More here than in previous books even, despite it's return to what seems to be the overarching plot line connecting the books. And I feel like that's just true to its police procedural reality- I imagine actual police officers are engaging in various types of business and following multiple leads at any given time- it's just a little manic and incohesive for my personal liking. Nevertheless, all the things that make this series great are here in spades: a magical London setting (including the "skygarden," home of nymphs, based on actual London eyesore/mugger's paradise, "Heygate Estate") Aaronovitch's trademark brand of humour, and some of the best characters being written in fantasy fiction today. The gang's all here, too. Lesley is back in action, the Faceless Man finally shows his face again (so to speak), and fan favorites Zachery Palmer, Abigail and Toby the dog all feature here in addition to those famous Rivers of London (view spoiler)[Beverley Brook!!! Definitely need more of her. (hide spoiler)]. As always, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith does fantastic work as the audiobook voice actor. Now about that ending... (view spoiler)[Lesley??!!! (hide spoiler)]
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  • Bradley
    January 1, 1970
    This series seems to be only getting better. The characters are getting more fascinating and the developments are definitely keeping me on the edge of my seat.London police and a sideline of magic has never felt more realistic. Peter gets to show off a bit of his architectural background this time, too, and I think this aspect was probably my very favorite part of the book. Architecture has always been a bit magical, don't you think? There's been plenty of literature on the idea and enough evide This series seems to be only getting better. The characters are getting more fascinating and the developments are definitely keeping me on the edge of my seat.London police and a sideline of magic has never felt more realistic. Peter gets to show off a bit of his architectural background this time, too, and I think this aspect was probably my very favorite part of the book. Architecture has always been a bit magical, don't you think? There's been plenty of literature on the idea and enough evidence to make most people suspect it even if they don't quite admit to believing it. Cathedrals, monuments, and even those atrocities that make everyone wish that they were dead rather than live in them all have a certain charm and flair, no? Good and bad magic. :)Well, this one brings together a great number of previous elements from the other books and we even get to face the faceless man again, much to my enjoyment. I definitely get the creepy factor off of him and practically everyone here seems to be planning for the very worst.For good reason, I think.There are some great explosions and magic scenes, too, but I'll be honest... I come back to it for the in-between parts. It's a real pleasure to be in these people's lives and experience what they experience. No spoilers, but this one is a real treat. :)
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  • Reni
    January 1, 1970
    I would have loved to finally give one of these books a perfect score, because I love the series for its world-building and characters, but, man, this book has pacing problems.For the first 200 pages or so, it feels like nothing of true interest actually happens in this book. Oh, don’t get me wrong, a lot of stuff does happen, from bloody murders, advancement of the overarching “Faceless Man” plotline, to subtle and sometimes not so subtle character development. And the Festival of the River God I would have loved to finally give one of these books a perfect score, because I love the series for its world-building and characters, but, man, this book has pacing problems.For the first 200 pages or so, it feels like nothing of true interest actually happens in this book. Oh, don’t get me wrong, a lot of stuff does happen, from bloody murders, advancement of the overarching “Faceless Man” plotline, to subtle and sometimes not so subtle character development. And the Festival of the River Gods was simply fun. Pissing contests and all. Yet, all these plot threads are so disconnected from each other that it is hard to get properly invested into them. As thrilling as mutilated bodies might sound in the summary on the back cover, the investigation of these murders didn’t hold nearly as much excitement as the cover blurb promised. There was almost never, at least until the last third, any sense of true mystery about the murders, nor, as a possible means for balance, any sense of danger to our main characters. Parts of the book read too much like a string of sort of interesting -- but not interesting enough -- only vaguely connected events. Of course, the reader knows that in the end everything will come together, but the reader simply doesn’t care for a very long time. The mysteries are too vague to be engaging. Let’s take the idea of magical architecture. Intriguing, right? But we never get enough details about how people might make use of that idea for the mystery about the stolen books to be actually engaging. It’s like there is too much going in this book, but at the same time too little. We have at least 3 murders in this book, but still enough time to read in detail about what Peter eats while analysing endless CCTV footage. I usually like how this series makes a point of taking police procedure a bit more seriously and to represent it more realistically than your average prime-time TV crime show, but this was too much!However, the last 100 pages or so were brilliant (we even got two very cool showdowns! Man, I’ve been wanting to read a proper wizard duel in this series for so long, I was basically squealing with delight when the big fight between the Night Witch and Nightingale happened. Let’s hope his next duel won’t be his last and that we can enjoy heavy magical property damage of the kind for a very long time still in this series). These pages delivered the kind of suspenseful, funny police drama/fantasy fest I had been expecting from the start. If only the whole book could have been written like this! As soon as Peter moves into the flat in Skygarden we finally have something like a linear narrative that manages to build up tension, what with us finally learning what our heroes mean to do, while slowly the objectives of our villains become more transparent also. I wish at least one of these things had been more prominent in the first 200-and-something pages to give some form to the narrative.I am not sure yet what I think of the big twist ending. (view spoiler)[Sure, it did not come completely out of nowhere, Lesley was way more aggressive towards and critical of magic and freak creatures than in the last book, and the reasons for her anger have always been close to the surface, and comprehensible to the reader. You could tell there was something going on. Her actually wandering off with what they know is actually a murderer and a pretty sick fuck was still a shock though.I’ll take Zach’s advice and simply hope for the best. But I do not have a good feeling about the next book. Especially not what with the author gleefully tweeting about killing off characters. (hide spoiler)]In the end the book raised more new questions, in addition to all the questions from the first books that weren’t answered either. (view spoiler)[Now what is behind the sealed door? Why was Mr Nolfi suddenly able to conjure up werelights again? Was it the magic released from the Stadtkrone? Why do we now have a second practitioner who won’t age? And what the hell happened at Ettersberg? And we’re still lacking some big pay-off from the discovery of the Quiet People in the last book. (hide spoiler)]It’s strange: I can hardly wait for the next book, yet, at the same time I am apprehensive about what developments, death & destruction, the next instalment might bring. As I’ve said in my reviews for the other books: It’s the characters who really carry this series for me, so I hope we won’t see any of the main characters killed off yet. Despite whatever else the author might have planned for them.Btw., while I’m at it: The editing of this edition could have been better also. I spotted a couple of typos, mixed up, or sometimes even missing prepositions.
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  • Stephan
    January 1, 1970
    Oh YES! Smack - dead in the center! There's nothing wrong with four stars, but this, my friends, is a full hand, all 5 of them: ★★★★★You know when you pay the extra quid for quality because you know this is the time and place where it matters and makes a difference? Then you get what you bought, hold it in your hands and it feels really good, solid, valuable and all that. To me, that's a wonderful four star. Add a pinch of "Bloody hell!", "WTF?" or "Strike!" and little ol' fifth star comes runni Oh YES! Smack - dead in the center! There's nothing wrong with four stars, but this, my friends, is a full hand, all 5 of them: ★★★★★You know when you pay the extra quid for quality because you know this is the time and place where it matters and makes a difference? Then you get what you bought, hold it in your hands and it feels really good, solid, valuable and all that. To me, that's a wonderful four star. Add a pinch of "Bloody hell!", "WTF?" or "Strike!" and little ol' fifth star comes running up, yapping and wagging its tail.So here we are, Peter learning more spells, policing all over the place (there's some real going undercover here) and following leads to murders all over the place - not in a monster/case of the week kind of way, instead the thick plottens (had to put that in here somehow *grin*). I've never liked series where each installment is a thing in its self, a standalone. I like a continueing plot that develops, more than just a grand scheme. Meandering is totally fine, especially if the curvy bits are as delicious as Aaronovitch manages to serve them. His mix of spices makes a very well balanced dish. In Broken Homes there is some Sierra Leonean hot chilli in form of serious magic badassery, Himalayan rock salt adding quality flavour with London history and lovely details, some hints of sugar for delicacy and delicateness and some indeterminable herbs that - yes really - somehow end up in an actual weeing contest. I had a strong feeling of things coming together, fitting in, belonging.It's still witty and humourous, but it got more serious too, in the second part. And there's a big surprise as well. So far, this is my favorite of the series. Foxglove Summer, here I come!
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  • Lois Bujold
    January 1, 1970
    Well, this was a delightful part of a story...Ends on one or more cliffhangers, rather more so than a couple of the prior episodes. Aaronovitch had better be careful in traffic for the next year, just sayin'. And no smoking. Take small bites and chew carefully, etc.That said, it gave me a lot of the things I wanted, namely, more Peter Grant, more London, and more of the other residents of the Folly. The love of the city fascinates me as a perversion in its in its own right, since personally I th Well, this was a delightful part of a story...Ends on one or more cliffhangers, rather more so than a couple of the prior episodes. Aaronovitch had better be careful in traffic for the next year, just sayin'. And no smoking. Take small bites and chew carefully, etc.That said, it gave me a lot of the things I wanted, namely, more Peter Grant, more London, and more of the other residents of the Folly. The love of the city fascinates me as a perversion in its in its own right, since personally I think the right distance between me and the nearest neighbor is about half a mile. There is never enough Nightingale, though the bits we got were primo. Nevertheless, there is a fine art in not giving away too much when building awesome, which is part of why I never used Aral Vorkosigan's viewpoint in my own series. I'm torn, here.Highly recommended, but don't start here; this is very much a sequential series. Begin with Book 1, Rivers of London, published in the USA under the camouflage title of Midnight Riot.My review of the first volume is here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... so I shan't repeat myself.Ta, L.
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  • Penny
    January 1, 1970
    This series gets better with every new book! I was practically hyperventilating for the last 30 or so pages of this story and it took a good 10 minutes to catch my breath after hitting The End. Ben Aaronovitch doesn't pull his punches. He's become one of my favourite authors with this series.The pace is quick, the dialogue is entertaining and full of witty banter, the characters are deep complicated people who you can't help but fall in love with, Peter's scientific studies into the nature of ma This series gets better with every new book! I was practically hyperventilating for the last 30 or so pages of this story and it took a good 10 minutes to catch my breath after hitting The End. Ben Aaronovitch doesn't pull his punches. He's become one of my favourite authors with this series.The pace is quick, the dialogue is entertaining and full of witty banter, the characters are deep complicated people who you can't help but fall in love with, Peter's scientific studies into the nature of magic are progressing nicely and infused with an appropriate amount of what I think of as "Peter-quirk", some of my new favourite characters from the last book made an appearance in this one, and as always there was lots of excitement and no shortage of Peter and co getting themselves into all kinds of trouble.I'm bleak that I finished this so quickly because it means I have to wait that much longer before I get my next Peter Grant fix! So good!! :)
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  • Paul E. Morph
    January 1, 1970
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!Aaronovitch, you complete sod! You can't do that to me! I did NOT see that ending coming! AT ALL! Amazing...Man, I'm more emotionally invested in this series than I thought I was...
  • Ken
    January 1, 1970
    Another wonderful entry in the Rivers of London series, it’s so easily to slip into this world.Aaronovitch’s descriptive writing is a joy, I love the way he describes things including the supermarket in Brighton being the size of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.I know this Asda well, so it made me chuckle!Both the characters and the locations are perfect, you really feel as if your in these places with Peter Grant and the team.This entry really pushes the story along, the final few chapters w Another wonderful entry in the Rivers of London series, it’s so easily to slip into this world.Aaronovitch’s descriptive writing is a joy, I love the way he describes things including the supermarket in Brighton being the size of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.I know this Asda well, so it made me chuckle!Both the characters and the locations are perfect, you really feel as if your in these places with Peter Grant and the team.This entry really pushes the story along, the final few chapters were gripping and I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here.
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  • Algernon (Darth Anyan)
    January 1, 1970
    I don't read much contemporary urban supernatural fiction, I prefer classic fantasy and big epics set on secondary worlds. But over the last four books I've grown quite fond of Police Constable Peter Grant (I think that's what PC stands for, other than personal computer). The supporting staff is all right (Lesley, Nightingale, Molly, the dog, the doctor, etc) but a good series that wants to go the distance of 10 books or more needs a strong, interesting protagonist, somebody the reader can ident I don't read much contemporary urban supernatural fiction, I prefer classic fantasy and big epics set on secondary worlds. But over the last four books I've grown quite fond of Police Constable Peter Grant (I think that's what PC stands for, other than personal computer). The supporting staff is all right (Lesley, Nightingale, Molly, the dog, the doctor, etc) but a good series that wants to go the distance of 10 books or more needs a strong, interesting protagonist, somebody the reader can identify with. The apeal of Peter for me resides mostly in the fact that he is not an uber-powerful magician or an unbeatable martial artist. He's a regular guy, learning the rules of magic in a slow and often painful way, by constant practice and more errors than successes. Of course he scores very high on his geek scientist credentials (I'm a big fan of the geek TV show Big Bang Theory) which, coupled with his passion for arhitecture, jazz and social commentary made his narration of events often more entertaining than the actual criminal investigations he is engaged in.Speaking of which: Broken Homes is about finding the connection between several apparently unrelated murders, all done using a magical attack of sorts : the corpse of a woman with her face blown off dumped in forest by a country road, the suspicious suicide of a public servant in a London underground station, the improbable heart attack of a real estate auditor, the body of a former crook burned from the inside out. The last one bears the signature mark of Peter's arch enemy - The Faceless Man - a powerful rogue wizard, and I appreciated the choice of the author to focus on the main storyline after the third book in the series, which felt more like a filler, like a side quest.Once again, the city of London comes off the pages in all its arhitectural and multicultural glory, with Peter as its most enthusiatic troubadour. A rather hideous and derelict high rise tower from the impractical 1960's plays a central part in the story, together with its down on their luck current inhabitants. I would have lliked to see the River deities introduced at the start of the series play a more central role in the plot development here. They have a very good scene where they all gather for a Spring festival on the South Bank of Thames, but the episode felt like a distraction from the main plot. Luckily for me, the magical creatures were better linked to the plot through a new character introduced here : a hamadryad linked to some old trees on the estate I mentioned earlier.To continue with the positive aspects of this fourth book (not that I have anything to complain about), I particularly liked three things:- the introduction of German and Russian magical practicioners, expanding the alternate histories and secret organizations beyond the Folly and the English culture;- the big scene of Thomas Nightingale unleashing his magic-fu. I was reminded of the last Star Wars movie when the wise and imperturbable Yoda finally gets to show what a major kick-ass he really is;- a toning down of the goofing around, sarcastic remarks and general levity of Peter. Things are really getting serious with the Faceless Man, and I found the changes to a darker style appropriate.Last one I will put in (view spoiler)[ because it is the biggest WOW moment of the whole journey so far, one that I didn't see coming, not even after Lesley's sexual emancipation scenes with a guy from the magic realm. "Somebody's been watching way too much Game of Thrones" exclaims Lesley at one point, and although the remark was provoked by the use of heraldry in a letter, for me Ben Aaronovitch has demonstrated he can pull off a major plot twist with as much panache as the Great Bearded One. I can really say now I don't know what to expect from the next book, but I wish I had it my hands right now to find out Why and Where do we go from here. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Phrynne
    January 1, 1970
    This series just keeps getting better and better! I am listening to it on audio and the reader is really, really good. His range of accents is perfect right through from our London copper to upper class Nightingale, Oberon, a Russian witch and many more. Broken Homes is definitely a middle book in a series and one which should be read in the correct order as the author provides very little back story to help a new reader. Each book leads into the next one and this one does it in such style that This series just keeps getting better and better! I am listening to it on audio and the reader is really, really good. His range of accents is perfect right through from our London copper to upper class Nightingale, Oberon, a Russian witch and many more. Broken Homes is definitely a middle book in a series and one which should be read in the correct order as the author provides very little back story to help a new reader. Each book leads into the next one and this one does it in such style that I will be purchasing the next one later today. I just have to find out what a certain character does next! Highly recommended but start with book 1
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  • Brendon Schrodinger
    January 1, 1970
    So it seems that the Peter Grant series is suffering from what I am calling "Reverse-Star-Trek-Movie-itis" or that the truly good books in this series are the odd numbered. I know there is only four, but I'm calling it. So while I look forward to book 5 coming soon, not so much book 6.Look I know I am being critical here, this is still a fun novel to read, but it's no 'Rivers of London' or 'Whispers Underground' in that there is no one overarching chain of events from initial mystery to wonderfu So it seems that the Peter Grant series is suffering from what I am calling "Reverse-Star-Trek-Movie-itis" or that the truly good books in this series are the odd numbered. I know there is only four, but I'm calling it. So while I look forward to book 5 coming soon, not so much book 6.Look I know I am being critical here, this is still a fun novel to read, but it's no 'Rivers of London' or 'Whispers Underground' in that there is no one overarching chain of events from initial mystery to wonderful conclusion. Here, like book 2, we get ambling about and random encounters that seem to be drawn together haphazardly in the last few pages. There's some funny situations and some cool characters and scenes, but nothing that makes you go 'wow!'. The only theory I can draw upon as to why this is the case is that book 2 and 4 are concerned with a larger story that runs through the books. I know these are somewhat serial in nature, but for those who have read book 2, you know who is back and that story line takes centre stage. I much prefer the more tightly focused Books 1 and 3 of the series. Still, fans will enjoy it and find it entertaining. And I do still look forward to the next in the series.
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  • Daniel
    January 1, 1970
    Attention authors: do not try this at home. The "plot" in this book is a trainwreck. Not in the sense that the villain's scheme is bad or uninteresting, it's pretty cool actually. But the way the story is sliced up and presented to the reader is not, imnsho, great. But you gave it 4 stars! I hear you saying. Yeah, well, that's becauze Aaronovitch does everything else so good in this one he can get away with it. You are not that good. Don't try me. I will dnf your ass so fast the friction burns w Attention authors: do not try this at home. The "plot" in this book is a trainwreck. Not in the sense that the villain's scheme is bad or uninteresting, it's pretty cool actually. But the way the story is sliced up and presented to the reader is not, imnsho, great. But you gave it 4 stars! I hear you saying. Yeah, well, that's becauze Aaronovitch does everything else so good in this one he can get away with it. You are not that good. Don't try me. I will dnf your ass so fast the friction burns will scar your soul.Also I'm pretty pissed about him finally dropping the whole (view spoiler)[Leslie in league with the faceless man (hide spoiler)] now. I mean I expected it after book two, but then he took two more books to lure me into a false sense of security. Bastard.
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  • Orient
    January 1, 1970
    I adored how Peter told the story about London life, it was an amusing read. Mr. Aaronovitch used a great way to attract attention to the world of London, so magical, fantastic and realistic at the same time. Also I loved the idea of magic mixing with architecture. I’m not an architecture expert but the architectural details were very believable and impressive mixed up with the magic stuff. At last I got some fun stuff to read about the bad-ass-witcher aka Nightingale. His wild meeting with the I adored how Peter told the story about London life, it was an amusing read. Mr. Aaronovitch used a great way to attract attention to the world of London, so magical, fantastic and realistic at the same time. Also I loved the idea of magic mixing with architecture. I’m not an architecture expert but the architectural details were very believable and impressive mixed up with the magic stuff. At last I got some fun stuff to read about the bad-ass-witcher aka Nightingale. His wild meeting with the Crazy Night Witch was enjoyable to read. Maybe Molly will have her fun playtime in the next book? Also I loved Lesley’s character. I hope she’ll be ok!Sometimes I had to make pit stops to return some pages back just to find why smth happened ‘cause I forgot why. Maybe it was because there were so much different storylines that seem to go nowhere. That’s the reason why the story didn’t grip me fully for the biggest part of the book, but the last third of the book was so fast paced and entertaining that it was a really tasty and spicy dessert, so worth waiting.To sum up “Broken Homes” is not a disappointing read, it was entertaining and the ending achieved enough momentum to turn in a fast pace page turner.
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  • Nikki
    January 1, 1970
    I think I need a support group to talk about this book. Or at least, the end of this book. If you like your books to kick you in the teeth real hard, go ahead and read this one.At this point, I've stopped comparing these books to the Dresden Files because apparently I care a lot more about them and the characters involved than I ever did about Harry Dresden and crew. I'm still a bit disappointed there aren't more major female characters, but I'm very definitely emotionally invested.This would've I think I need a support group to talk about this book. Or at least, the end of this book. If you like your books to kick you in the teeth real hard, go ahead and read this one.At this point, I've stopped comparing these books to the Dresden Files because apparently I care a lot more about them and the characters involved than I ever did about Harry Dresden and crew. I'm still a bit disappointed there aren't more major female characters, but I'm very definitely emotionally invested.This would've been really amazing if it had all connected up. I mean, all the events are connected with one or the other overarching plot or subplot, but it feels a little bit episodic at times. The last half is pretty much unputdownable: I worry I'm already forgetting the first half in the wake of the gut punch that is the second.One thing I really appreciate about these books is that it's very much rooted in actual policing. Yes, it's policing with the involvement of magic and supernatural creatures, but you still have the support network of a policeman -- including superior officers to a) answer to and b) drag you out of trouble. On which note, Nightingale's big scene was amazing. But you don't have a freelance detective or a guy who can be a loose cannon (e.g. Ian Rankin's Rebus). You've got your average police officer, with much to learn.
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  • Andy
    January 1, 1970
    Back for more Peter Grant & the gang at the Folly!Oh dear......... 2.5 stars & the 1/2pt is only cause I’ve really enjoyed the series too date. Well what went wrong here then...... it jus lacked the humour & action (In bucket fulls) of the previous reads in the series, I found myself nodding off as it was mostly Jus Peter Grant & well, council housing of Greater London...... what! Bored for the most part. It lacked the characters that we've grown to love & at 200+ pages had g Back for more Peter Grant & the gang at the Folly!Oh dear......... 2.5 stars & the 1/2pt is only cause I’ve really enjoyed the series too date. Well what went wrong here then...... it jus lacked the humour & action (In bucket fulls) of the previous reads in the series, I found myself nodding off as it was mostly Jus Peter Grant & well, council housing of Greater London...... what! Bored for the most part. It lacked the characters that we've grown to love & at 200+ pages had gone absolutely nowhere for me.If this was the first book in the series, I would be now binning it, sorry, its been grand up until now but I tell it as I see it & this was bland central for the most part with a few redemptions here & there.Addendum : Jus reading through friends reviews...... what book were you all reading?? :D
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  • Steven
    January 1, 1970
    Last 20%, 4 stars. First 80%, 2 stars. Very generous average, 3 stars.I liked some of the characters added/expanded upon in this book, but it took me over a week to read it because it was slow and boring compared to the first few of the series. The last 20% of the book actually had stuff happen, and convinced me that I should probably continue on with the series for at least one more and see if it was just a one-off fluke.Oh, and shame on you, character. You know who you are. I thought this migh Last 20%, 4 stars. First 80%, 2 stars. Very generous average, 3 stars.I liked some of the characters added/expanded upon in this book, but it took me over a week to read it because it was slow and boring compared to the first few of the series. The last 20% of the book actually had stuff happen, and convinced me that I should probably continue on with the series for at least one more and see if it was just a one-off fluke.Oh, and shame on you, character. You know who you are. I thought this might happen, but I wanted to see the best in you!
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  • Lata
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this. More details later.
  • Cathy (cathepsut)
    January 1, 1970
    Slightly spoilerish.The beginning confused me. I couldn‘t figure out how we got from the guy in the car accident to him being a suspect. I also struggled a little with keeping some of the other characters straight. Not sure if that was me or Aaronovich. Might be me, as I am still not quite sure about the evolution of the Faceless Man and his various iterations.Most of the book seemed slower than the other books and the plot a bit directionless. It all sort of meandered along. The spring festival Slightly spoilerish.The beginning confused me. I couldn‘t figure out how we got from the guy in the car accident to him being a suspect. I also struggled a little with keeping some of the other characters straight. Not sure if that was me or Aaronovich. Might be me, as I am still not quite sure about the evolution of the Faceless Man and his various iterations.Most of the book seemed slower than the other books and the plot a bit directionless. It all sort of meandered along. The spring festival for example felt like a completely pointless addition without any impact on the main plot. Set-up for later books? Pity that we didn‘t get to see more of Abigail.Once it all picks up speed at the end, it‘s great. Loved the battle at the farm. Although the best parts happened in the off. Really liked the finale. Great visuals, would make an excellent ending for a movie with spectacular special effects.Surprising plot twist was surprising. I did not see that coming. Well, there was a small twitch earlier, when you-know-what was mentioned and I though uh-oh, potential for problems! But oh my, that was a shocker.
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  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    January 1, 1970
    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...New rule: if you are an urban fantasy starring a London policeman-turned-wizard named Peter Grant, then I MUST READ YOU. Let's just say I have waited a long time for this! After devouring the first three books last spring, I was left with a void that only this series' dry wit and magical action could provide, and now book four has finally made its way to the US.Ben Aaronovitch does not hold back for Peter's latest adventur 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...New rule: if you are an urban fantasy starring a London policeman-turned-wizard named Peter Grant, then I MUST READ YOU. Let's just say I have waited a long time for this! After devouring the first three books last spring, I was left with a void that only this series' dry wit and magical action could provide, and now book four has finally made its way to the US.Ben Aaronovitch does not hold back for Peter's latest adventure, which involves our favorite magician-constable working to solve yet another string of odd deaths happening around the city. The first red flag goes up when a chance car accident leads him to a murder victim, who may have a link to the mysterious "Faceless Man." That's the big baddie that Peter and his supervisor Nightingale have been hunting over the course of the last couple of books.As such, Broken Homes probably wouldn't be the best jumping on point if you're new to the series, albeit the central plot within the bigger picture is still wildly entertaining. When it is discovered that the odd deaths are all connected to a controversial housing estate "designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the truly desperate", Peter and his fellow investigators come up with an insane plan to get to the bottom of the mystery. What do they do? They move in and go under cover. Trouble ensues. And with that, tons of amusement for readers.Here's why I think it would be a good idea to at least tackle the previous book first before reading this one: if you're not familiar with the overall story arc with the Faceless Man, the first half of the book will probably feel pretty slow. I personally was interested in the investigations because a lot of it had to do with uncovering the identity of the enemy and trying to capture him, but without that context I think a lot of the happenings will feel disjointed or only tenuously connected.But as someone who has been following this series, I think it is clearly starting to come into its own. With that comes a greater appreciation for the little quirks only found in these books, like London's rivers personified as semi-divine spirits, Peter's esoteric interests into the city's architecture or even his frequent funny jabs at the Metropolitan Police. All this made even some of the more low-key bits of the book very fascinating and engaging -- such as the scene with the spring celebration, or descriptions of Peter's magical training sessions.However, I have to say the second half of the book -- which includes the subsequent build-up to the climax -- and ending is simply phenomenal. As the main protagonist and narrator, I thought Peter would always be my favorite character in these books, but Nightingale may have just given him a run for his money. His anachronisms and total fail with modern technologies notwithstanding, the guy is awesome. You might think you know wizarding duels, but you don't -- not until you read about the one near the end of this book, with Nightingale versus the Russian Night Witch. I think I may have a crush.Then, there's the climax and the shocking "twist". I put the quotations there because I'm not sure how truly surprising it is if you've been following the series and the characters. It was shocking yes, but it wasn't completely unexpected. The clues leading up to it weren't entirely subtle, though that might just be me. All the same, the excitement and snappy pace in these final chapters will make you ache for more, and leave you desperate to find out what happens next.Sigh, which leads me back to this familiar place, of pining for the next book. The waiting does not get easier!
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  • Ships
    January 1, 1970
    Super!Ben Aaronovitch just gets better and better, I have missed Peter Grant with his sarcastic often witty descriptions, analogies, quips etc that never fail to have me laughing to myself, I love the characters, 'The Nightingale', Lesley, Molly and of course how cleverly the magical world is integrated into the very essence of London and it's tributaries. I found this offering a real delight, pure escapism and was glad to see Grant's nemesis 'The Faceless Man' up to no good and always it appear Super!Ben Aaronovitch just gets better and better, I have missed Peter Grant with his sarcastic often witty descriptions, analogies, quips etc that never fail to have me laughing to myself, I love the characters, 'The Nightingale', Lesley, Molly and of course how cleverly the magical world is integrated into the very essence of London and it's tributaries. I found this offering a real delight, pure escapism and was glad to see Grant's nemesis 'The Faceless Man' up to no good and always it appears to be a step ahead.It's not all light and fun though and is pretty dark, disturbing even as the story unfolds. Our author also throws a hell of a curve ball that had me flummoxed, but in a good way, wanting the next book out already.Still up there as one of my favourite series to follow..Not a stand alone best to start with 'Midnight Riot', which is the first in the series, this is book number four.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    So after reading the latest Rivers of London graphic novel I thought it was about time I caught up with the books since they all share the same history and the danger is that one series will keep on pulling away from the other. So I decided to pick up the book and start reading. What can I say - I thought it was a rather slow start (I suspect partly due to the fact I had read so far ahead in the comic books and "thought" I knew it all) only to realise i was 100+ pages in to the story before I ev So after reading the latest Rivers of London graphic novel I thought it was about time I caught up with the books since they all share the same history and the danger is that one series will keep on pulling away from the other. So I decided to pick up the book and start reading. What can I say - I thought it was a rather slow start (I suspect partly due to the fact I had read so far ahead in the comic books and "thought" I knew it all) only to realise i was 100+ pages in to the story before I even realised it.Now my self imposed rule of no spoilers makes things never easy when discussing fiction but even more so when you have a series which is going from be "crime of the week" in to a growing story arc which recurring characters and a villain they never seem to get close enough to. So what can I say - the book still have a wonderful feel for London (obviously written by someone who not only knows the city but loves it too - in a rather reluctant way at times). Ben Aaronovitch has a wonderful way of portraying a level of understanding and knowledge on things (especially police procedure) even if it potentially is all made up and fictitious (I am sure some one will correct). In other words there is a level of confidence in himself and his work which allows him to carry off all sorts of ideas and situation and even turns of phrases. The book is a great yarn and yes there are some fundamental changes in the story which will be developed through out future publications- I will not elude to much more but I would say that this is one of those titles you need to read to fully appreciate the rest of the series - some thing I am very pleased I have finally got round to do. Now do I dare pick up the next one.
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  • Aoife
    January 1, 1970
    Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4) Before reading:YES! FINALLY MORE PETER GRANT! I HAVE BEEN DESPERATELY WAITING FOR THIS!After starting to read:This is all really cute and fluffy and the interactions between the characters are great as always but...where is the point? There were things happening...a lot of things. There's several bodies, theft...and they have barely time to investigate anything in depth because something new turns up.For a considerable part of the first 100-150 pages it seemed like Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4) Before reading:YES! FINALLY MORE PETER GRANT! I HAVE BEEN DESPERATELY WAITING FOR THIS!After starting to read:This is all really cute and fluffy and the interactions between the characters are great as always but...where is the point? There were things happening...a lot of things. There's several bodies, theft...and they have barely time to investigate anything in depth because something new turns up.For a considerable part of the first 100-150 pages it seemed like Peter, Lesley and the others were just reacting to things, i.e. doing the most basic police-investigation but barely have the time to do anything more sophisticated because the next new case turns up and they're back to doing basic police-work again...As reader you knew it would pay off and all the cases would be connected in some way but Peter & co didn't (I should point out that this was in a 'yes it makes sense that they wouldn't guess that these things are connected' and not in a 'how can they be so stupid not to see the connection?'-way) so the beginning (and parts of the middle) were somewhat underwhelming.I did however quite enjoy the extension of the world-building. We did get some more background...well hints of more background for Nightingale (which really just gave more questions than answers but a fangirl is happy about anything) and we also learned a bit about how magic was organized in other places, like Germany and Russia. That was all quite fascinating and I especially enjoyed Nightingale's "Not everything German is connected to the Nazis"And then finally there was plot! Amazing plot! Stuff got blown up and there were fights and it was fast-paced and I didn't want to put the book down again...and of course Nightingale was awesome. He always is.And then the plot twist...oh my GodI honestly did not see that coming. I did not even had this vague feeling of 'something bad is going to happen' it just came completely out of the blue and I was just...YOU CANNOT DO THIS BEN AARONOVITCH!!!This can't be happening...this is just a bad dream.But alas it isn't...it's real.I cannot deal with this world anymore.
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  • rameau
    January 1, 1970
    What the hell did I just read? Where’s the rest of it? I need the rest of it NOW!On a more rational note, this is another better novel of the Peter Grant series. As ever, the strength of the writing and story lies on Peter’s narration and sarcastic voice, so if that hasn’t won you over by now, don’t expect the scattered plot threads to dazzle you. If you’re invested in the long plot, however, sit back and enjoy the ride.The story is of the slow sort and reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes in a way th What the hell did I just read? Where’s the rest of it? I need the rest of it NOW!On a more rational note, this is another better novel of the Peter Grant series. As ever, the strength of the writing and story lies on Peter’s narration and sarcastic voice, so if that hasn’t won you over by now, don’t expect the scattered plot threads to dazzle you. If you’re invested in the long plot, however, sit back and enjoy the ride.The story is of the slow sort and reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes in a way that doesn’t make a good mystery novel. Not in the puristic sense. Too much is hidden for the readers to piece together the puzzle for themselves and they have to wait for the genius to guide them through the intuitive steps of logical deduction.Broken Homes also suffers from the middle book syndrome but because this is the fourth in the series let’s call it the set up syndrome. Everything, and I do mean everything is set up for bigger things to come and even the explosions at the end aren’t enough to release the underlying tension. It feels like things are going to get a lot worse before they get better and Peter needs to improve on his policing as well as his magic lessons. And fast. When’s the next book coming out again?
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  • Wanda
    January 1, 1970
    This installment meanders a bit, as it juggles multiple story lines, plus lessons in architecture. Thomas "Oh was that your Tiger tank?" Nightingale gets to show why he's the teacher and Peter & Lesley are the apprentices. I particularly enjoyed Toby's increased role in this book, being Peter's magic detector (the yap-o-metre) and camouflage (a man with a dog is virtually invisible, apparently). Peter has matured since the first book. Lesley gives him a hard time, needling him about why he a This installment meanders a bit, as it juggles multiple story lines, plus lessons in architecture. Thomas "Oh was that your Tiger tank?" Nightingale gets to show why he's the teacher and Peter & Lesley are the apprentices. I particularly enjoyed Toby's increased role in this book, being Peter's magic detector (the yap-o-metre) and camouflage (a man with a dog is virtually invisible, apparently). Peter has matured since the first book. Lesley gives him a hard time, needling him about why he and Beverly Brook aren't sleeping together yet. In the first couple of books, Peter would have jumped in first and thought things through later, but he has learned to think with his big head and is suitably cautious. After all, if your relationship with a goddess goes pear-shaped, you know who is going to suffer most (and it won't be Beverly). I'm still enjoying the effortless multicultural and inclusive cast of characters, however don't imagine that I have no criticism! I'm not wild about the Faceless Man as an antagonist (although I did enjoy Peter's reference to his lab as the Strip Club of Dr. Moreau). But, having read to the end of this volume, how can I doubt that I will read the next to see the next event in the drama?
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