Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Amusing to see the team up with the Americans once again. Totally fascinating art world, too.
I've mentioned how these books go down as smooth as jazz, and there's a lot of honesty in it, although the jazz bits are downplayed almost entirely in this book in favor of a little traditional artistic murder.
Not that art is being murdered, though that certainly might be the case, or that the artists might be doing the murdering, which also might be the case, or that the murder was done in such a way as to be considered artistic, which is certainly not the case.
But above all, this is a fantastic police procedural with wonderful characters dealing with everyday life on the force, of working around disabilities every day on the job (poor Lesley with her missing face), of being "proper" police with very droll humor, of catching the bad guys.
The magic is just integrated matter-of-fact. Peter's a wizard on the force. Lesley has begun to learn magic, too, but she has a bit more of a drive, I think, with her whole missing face bit. As for the magic bits, they're really rather understated and made smooth and delightful. Magical races are just a part of London and it's really all about building relationships and contacts and informants. This IS, after all, a police procedural. :)
The story is a lot of what you might expect out of one, too, with lots of talking and footwork, but I think what I enjoyed most about the book is the nerdy humor. Our copper Peter Grant loves his Cthulhu RPG, his LoTR, and his sophisticated puking Hermione jokes. :)
These aren't a flashy UF. They're solid and deeply grounded in normal London life. It's very smooth and enjoyable. :) As they say, the devil is in the details, and that's where this shines. :)
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