Lies Sleeping – Ben Aaronovitch

“His name was Richard Williams and he worked in public relations.”

Peter Grant’s ‘thing’ with London spirit, Mr Punch – teased since the earlier books introduced him and had him do horrible things to partner, Leslie – is coming to a head. Or, at least, taking a different path. What’s going on with Abigail’s talking foxes? And will the Folly’s magicians finally catch up with the Faceless Man aka Martin Chorley?

Seven books – plus a novella – into the series is obviously not the place to start with this, and I’d thoroughly recommend the earlier books anyway! In fact, I think this one is good but not the strongest of the series. Somehow, with the feel of so many things coming to a head after a couple of books’ worth of teasing, it didn’t quite feel as climactic as I expected.

It’s still a fun ride, but you are expected to know about Peter’s past – both training in magic, and his relationship with (I kid you not) a river – which aren’t given any explanation here. In some ways its nice for an author to treat his long-time readers with this kind of respect, but on the other hand, it just made some of this feel… flimsy? Insubstantial? Like a middle chapter, in some ways.

While the story progresses mostly at a reasonable pace, the lack of depth was a little disappointing. I still loved it and will read any further Rivers of London books, eagerly, but with this one it remains that the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts.

Hardback: 406 pages / 34 chapters
First published: 2018
Series: Peter Grant (Rivers of London) book 7
Read from 12th-18th February 2019

My rating: 7/10

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