This is a novella as part of the Rivers of London series, that comes as book 5.5, after Foxglove Summer. Although it isn’t essential reading for the following of the series, it’s a nice little additional novella, and I don’t need an excuse to follow more of Peter’s antics. The audiobook was a little over three hours long, so it was one I finished in a day, and enjoying with my crochet.
There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.
Enter PC Peter Grant junior member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Assessment unit AKA The Folly AKA the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying the crush of London’s rush hour to find the source of the ghosts.
Joined by Peter’s wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person’s life might just be on the line.
And time is running out to save them.
This little side story managed to contain all the usual wit and grit, all in miniature form. It was really funny to see Abigail again, especially as Nightingale seems to have taken a shine to her, and her to him, much to Peter’s bemusement.
Ghosts are appearing on the trains, seemingly trying to pass on messages, yet as difficult as ghost hunting normally is, these ghosts are not only disappearing into pieces, but the people they are passing the messages onto are forgetting within moments after seeing them too. Peter, Jaget, Nightingale and Abigail are all doing what they can to gather the pieces of the puzzle, along with a very reluctant Toby the magic hunting dog.
It soon becomes apparent that not only do they need to summon the ghosts, but they need to summon the right ghosts, and then work out quite exactly what those ghosts were trying to say. It turns out to be far more interesting than even Peter could have anticipated, and far more dangerous than Abigail was prepared for.
I loved this novella, and I’m even more keen for the next full length book after encountering some of our favourite characters again.