Book Review – Foxglove Summer

Hello hello, and welcome back to my little corner of the web. Pull up a comfy chair, help yourself to some (loose leaf, naturally) tea, and get ready for some book related talk.

Today I’m looking at book five in the Rivers of London series, Foxglove Summer. I’ve been making my way through the series and limiting myself (or trying to) to one a month, but it’s hard work, because they’re just SO good, I want to binge read. I love a series you can get utterly lost in, and as I may have said before, this really is one of those. It’s a brilliant balance of genuinely mysterious crimes to solve and a touch of magic, to give it an extra spark. You can find my previous reviews bellow, in order:
Rivers of London
Moon Over Soho
Whispers Under Ground
Broken Homes

In the fifth of his bestselling series Ben Aaronovitch takes Peter Grant out of whatever comfort zone he might have found and takes him out of London – to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. But while you can take the London copper out of London you can’t take the London out of the copper.

Travelling west with Beverley Brook, Peter soon finds himself caught up in a deep mystery and having to tackle local cops and local gods. And what’s more all the shops are closed by 4pm …

After the events of book four, I think it was good for Peter to get out of London for a bit, and Nightingale obviously agreed with my wisdom, as it was written into the book for him to do just that. I’m obviously a genius.

More seriously, it was really interesting to see Peter in a different environment, and one where he didn’t have instant access to everything that he’s become familiar to having. It very much fed into the – accurate – stereotypes of life all moving a bit slower in the country, and not having the same resources that the Metropolitan Police force does. When Nightingale sends Beverly up to help Peter thanks to her experience from her time in the country, Peter isn’t completely sure whether he’s done it to help or hinder him.

I love Beverly Brook as a character and it was wonderful to see her again, and see her spending some more time with Peter, in both a professional and personal setting. It was really well written, and she helps especially when it it comes to the feelings rage he hasn’t been coping with since the events at the end of the previous book. Watching them become closer through the book is genuinely lovely, and put a smile on my face.

Peter having to explain to a whole new police force that, yes, there is a department that deals with ‘funny stuff’, and, yes, he is actually a wizard as well as a police officer is about as hilarious as you can imagine it to be. Then actually getting them to believe it is another matter. Trying to make sure that only the right people believe it, all while investigating the disappearance of two girls, and trying to find out exactly what the balance of ‘funny stuff’ is at play? Well, this might take Peter out of London, but it certainly isn’t a holiday.

I really enjoyed this book. We got little hints connecting back to the previous book which was frustratingly few and far between, but utterly fascinating at the same time. The snippets we get are enough to make us wonder how much of the full story we have – and how much we still have to find out. The next few books are going to be a wild ride, I think!


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