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If you are a fan of the Peter Grant books you have likely been tapping your toes and pacing back and forth waiting for the powers that be to release the latest book in this terrific series. Wait no longer…it’s finally out, buy it and enjoy. If you aren’t already a follower you would be better to start with Midnight Riot and work forwards…rather than start here. This book does stand-alone…but if you have followed the threads developed in the earlier books you will get more out of this one. Hanging Tree is the usual mixture of “Magic as Science” plot brilliance and some pretty sharp social commentary. It's a very UK book. I’m a native Brit and even I find myself caught on some of the London vernacular and UK police procedural language…I’m still not 100% clear on what a “caution plus two” is.
Each of the earlier books in this series develops a separate plot line with some over lapping characters in common. In this book Aaronovitch has taken the greatest hits/characters of the first five novels and woven them into this new book. That can be a little confusing especially if you haven’t followed the earlier books. In addition to Peter and the usual suspects on the London police force Leslie is back (face restored) as is Mr. Punch, the Faceless Man, the FBI and of course as many of the various river gods as you have an appetite for. I won’t spoil the plot, there’s lots going on, some terrific action sequences and as much wry humor as usual. Perhaps there’s a little too much going on in some spots…but it’s all such terrific fun it’s a good problem to have. I would be remiss if I didn’t give props to the brilliant performance Holdbrook-Smith delivers. His voices and accents are the perfect complement to this terrific listen. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait quite as long for the next episode.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
I gave this five stars because I love this series set in a London where magic works and the mundane police are reluctantly coming to accept that it is coming back into prominence. Because I am writing this a fan, you have to accept that there are things I like about this book which may make a non-fan think it is four stars or below. Because this is the 6th book in the series it is loaded with references to previous books. Be warned. I would suggest listening the first books before tackling this one.
I listened to the book twice after it turned up in my library. The first time was for the story and the fabulous narration by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Peter is back in London and pursuing the Faceless Man, helped and hampered by new and old friends and enemies. A lot of characters from earlier books in the series make appearances, some brief, others more substantial. It may be ok as a stand alone novel, but I'm a bit dubious.
The second time I listened to it was to catch any pop references that I might have missed. Aaronovitch has written for the Doctor Who franchise, so those references are no surprise, but there are a whole lot more, including a nod to Phil Rickman.
Recommended for those who like this sort of fiction.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful