I read the first in this series Rivers of London over Christmas and loved it. It was an enjoyable, well written, and easy read perfect for Christmas. Out sick from work this week and unable to face my current rather heavy tome, I picked this up. Like its predecessor it was exactly what I needed, an enjoyable, well written book that wasn’t going to tax my reduced powers of concentration.
If the first book was introducing the characters, then this one was setting up what I suspect will become the major story arc of the series. Picking up almost immediately where the first book left off we see less of other cast of characters. Both Nightingale and Lesley May are recovering from the events of the first book, leaving Peter running around solo (so basically unsupervised). With so much focus on Peter without the others to distract the reader we get to know him better. The findings are he is basically your standard relatively good looking guy in his 20s. In the rare scenes involving Nightingale we begin to learn more about the magic world, including about a former wizarding school (basically Hogworts) and what happened to all the other wizards.
On a side note I’ve described the school as Hogworts, and that’s not just me making that reference. It comes from the author. The books have been described as what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Met or Harry Potter meets Sherlock Holmes. Aaronovitch recognising that if your going to set a book in London involving magic and a detective comparisons with Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes are inevitable and embraces it. He incorporates many tongue in cheek references to both. It is a wise and enjoyable feature of the books.
There is always the risk when following up an excellent first book that the second will be terrible, and that risk always seems greater with a series. If the second book in a series fails that’s the audience gone, in a way they aren’t with a stand alone. It’s that dreaded difficult second album curse. It’s a curse Aaronovitch manages to avoid. This was just as enjoyable and engaging as the first. I think it’s safe to say I’m hooked on this series.