Posted by: Jennie Pollock | January 29, 2013

Dilemma: Do I Recommend this Book?

Towards the end of last year I found myself with time to spare in Foyles, one of London’s oldest and most famous bookshops. I browsed from shelf to shelf, display stand to feature table, and found myself picking up a book with a fun, squiggly, Londony cover and an appealing title, Rivers of London.

Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch

Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch

I raised the front cover and read the first page. It made me laugh out loud.

I read the next page and it made me chuckle quietly.

I sat down in a handy chair nearby and read enough to know I had to buy this book. So I did.

Impulse buys can be something of a gamble – especially when you’re paying the full, bookshop, cover price, and this book certainly turned out to be outside my normal genre, but on balance I loved it.

There were a few more vampires, ghosts and spirits in it than I normally like (ie, some!), and had I known it was a modern-day ghost story I probably wouldn’t have read it.

There was also more swearing than I like, though not so much that it felt gratuitous.

So I’m left with a dilemma – do I recommend this book? I enjoyed it very much; the plot was fun and creative, the characters were engaging and well-written, the dry, wry humour kept coming throughout the book… It’s really just the subject matter. If the idea of negative spiritual forces is not something you want to read about, don’t buy this book. If you’re OK with it, and like a good murder mystery with a few laughs along the way, buy it. Now.

It was certainly a surprise winner with me. Let me know what you think.

My rating: 4.5/5 (purely marked down for the subject matter)


Please note, links to buy the book are Associate links, which means if you click on them then buy something, I get a small percentage. What a great way to help support your favourite starving author… 😉


  1. I think you just did. 🙂

  2. All three of his books about Peter Grant are enjoyable; they also convey a stronger sense of what London is like today than almost any other book I’ve read recently.

    • Yes, that’s true, it did have a very authentic feel of London.


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