Broken Homes. Book Review

broken-homes-nick21BROKEN HOMES by Ben Aaronovitch
Gollancz, h/b, 368pp, £14.99
Reviewed by Matthew Johns

This is the fourth book in Aaronovitch’s series about PC Peter Grant, the Metropolitan Police Force’s first apprentice wizard in over 50 years. Grant, his fellow apprentice, Lesley May, and Chief Inspector Nightingale solve crimes and mysteries that defy the normal rules of regular policing, much to the distaste of many traditional policemen.

The author clearly knows and loves London well, with his fourth novel being largely set around the Elephant and Castle area, in South East London. Grant and co are still tracking an “ethically challenged” (aka black) magician, who is responsible for a string of murders and experiments to create chimeras, fusing human and animal DNA using magic.

Aaronovitch’s writing is often laugh out loud funny, filled with gripping action, well thought out magical theory and fascinating tidbits about London, the jazz music scene, or even the Sierra Leone expats (which includes PC Grant’s family) living in London.

Regardless of whether you’ve read or seen Harry Potter, these are a gripping, humorous series of books that are compelling reading and well worth picking up. And if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, then try Peter Grant’s adventures anyway. What’s the worst that could happen?!