Broken Homes (2013) – Ben Aaronovitch

The fourth book in Ben Aaronovitch’s River of London series opens up the world again, even further than the previous novel, as we join Peter Grant, Lesley, Nightingale as they continue their hunt for the Faceless Man, dealing with the Gods and Godesses of the rivers, and the mysteries that begin to spring up with this new story, all of which seem to center on residential building known as Skygarden with something strange going on…

Still working in joyful pop culture references, Peter is still working on developing his magical skills, Lesley’s face still hasn’t healed and surgeries continue, and Nightingale is still unhappy with modern technology (or perhaps just the effect magic has on modern tech).

I won’t fib, as much as I enjoy the characters, this story took me a lot longer to get into, but by the halfway mark I was wrapped up in it, and it left me completely gobsmacked with the revelation at the end of the book.

The story is a fast moving tale, and I love the interactions of the characters, and the way that the universe continues to grow, and that the story threads planted in previous novels develop and lay more groundwork for things to come.

Aaronovitch crafts wonderfully enjoyable stories, and I have grown to really care about the characters, and love mentions of supporting characters, especially Peter’s family, and the will they won’t they situation with Beverly.

The further the series has progressed the more it ties itself back to things that have happened in previous novels, creating and layering the reality of the world Aaronovitch has created.

Peter continues to grow as a character and serves as the series Everyman as we join him on his journey to become a magic cop. I like the friendship between he and Lesley, and how they both see the new world they’ve moved into, and those they share it with, including Molly, who oversees the Folly, their residence.

And of course, Toby the dog.

Despite the fact that this story took me a little longer to get involved in, I love the world that Aaronovitch has created and love checking into it, and joining Peter on his assignments, even with the gut punch that closes the story out, and leaves me hoping one thing, but expecting the other in terms of the way characters and events play out.

I’m glad that there are still more novels for me to explore, as I am already ready to dive into the next investigation, Foxglove Summer, and see what happens next!

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