Review: Moon Over Soho – by Ben Aaronovitch

mnlgSynopsis: I was my dad’s vinyl-wallah: I changed his records while he lounged around drinking tea, and that’s how I know my Argo from my Tempo. And it’s why, when Dr Walid called me to the morgue to listen to a corpse, I recognised the tune it was playing. Something violently supernatural had happened to the victim, strong enough to leave its imprint like a wax cylinder recording. Cyrus Wilkinson, part-time jazz saxophonist and full-time accountant, had apparently dropped dead of a heart attack just after finishing a gig in a Soho jazz club. He wasn’t the first.

No one was going to let me exhume corpses to see if they were playing my tune, so it was back to old-fashioned legwork, starting in Soho, the heart of the scene. I didn’t trust the lovely Simone, Cyrus’ ex-lover, professional jazz kitten and as inviting as a Rubens’ portrait, but I needed her help: there were monsters stalking Soho, creatures feeding off that special gift that separates the great musician from someone who can raise a decent tune. What they take is beauty. What they leave behind is sickness, failure and broken lives.

And as I hunted them, my investigation got tangled up in another story: a brilliant trumpet player, Richard ‘Lord’ Grant – my father – who managed to destroy his own career, twice. That’s the thing about policing: most of the time you’re doing it to maintain public order. Occasionally you’re doing it for justice. And maybe once in a career, you’re doing it for revenge.

Title: Moon Over Soho
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 373
ISBN: 9780575097629

Rating: 3stars

After reading the first book in the series, Rivers of London, it took me over a year to start the second book. You may think that this doesn’t bode well for the books but, seeing as the normal waiting-to-be-read period for any book averages at about 6 months, a year isn’t that bad.

The story picks up soon after the end of the first book, and we are whisked back into the world of grown-up (almost scientifically-geeky) magic. We also continue our journey through London, new and old.

London, and it’s history is easily my favourite thing about these books. I can’t get enough of the use of random historical/scientific … i.e. uber-ly geeky facts about the city. PC Grant’s mind works very much in the same way as mine, we both get distracted by quirky facts and figures. The more of this series I read, the more I fall for him … especially when I imagine him to look like Idris Elba!

Moon Over Soho has a much more complicated plot; involving the mysterious origins of the magical tradition, a potential super criminal, a conspiracy, the youth of DCI Nightingale; and all sorts of other weird and wonderful situations that you can get lost in.

All in all, Moon Over Soho is a clever and unputdownable read. I managed to finish it in a day which, I feel, should be more than enough reason for everyone to try it.

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