I’m a big fan of the Rivers of London series, and I’ve been really enjoying working my way through them. The latest novella, What Abigail Did That Summer, takes place at the same time Foxglove Summer, but takes us on an adventure through Abigail’s eyes. Abigail is police officer – and wizard – Peter Grant’s teenage cousin, and makes for a hilarious narrator.
Ghost hunter, fox whisperer, troublemaker.
It is the summer of 2013 and Abigail Kamara has been left to her own devices. This might, by those who know her, be considered a mistake. While her cousin, police constable and apprentice wizard Peter Grant, is off in the sticks chasing unicorns Abigail is chasing her own mystery. Teenagers around Hampstead Heath have been going missing but before the police can get fully engaged the teens return home – unharmed but vague about where they’ve been.
Aided only by her new friend Simon, her knowledge that magic is real and a posse of talking foxes that think they’re spies, Abigail must venture into the wilds of Hampstead to discover who is luring the teenagers and more importantly – why?
Abigail has deserved her own novel since we first saw the fox talk to her, and this book absolutely did not disappoint. It managed to fall exactly on the line that demonstrated teenage issues and also capture the full magic of the Rivers of London series – figuratively and literally.
With Simon on her side, and a selection of foxes who were frankly hilarious, Abigail ventures out to try and solve the mystery in the only way she knows how – sneakily. She’s a brilliantly written character, smart and sharp, and unafraid. So when it turns out that the problem can actually only be solved by a child, she jumps into the situation with only pausing for a phone call to Nightingale.
It was really interesting seeing the world – and the world of magic – from Abigail’s perspective, rather than Peter’s opinions of her. Her interactions with adults – especially Simon’s mum – are unflinching, and she is utterly brazen in her goals and motivations to achieve them.
Prior to this, anyone could have dismissed Abigail as Peter’s annoying teenage cousin. However, I think now it’s very clear that she’s a well defined character who is going places, both on her own, and within the book series. I really can see more of her coming up in the future, and that would, frankly, be brilliant.