Urban Fantasy

Lies Sleeping – Ben Aaronovitch

4 Stars

Lies Sleeping is the 7th novel in Ben Aaronovitch’s stellar Rivers of London series. I was first introduced to this series on my honeymoon, when I stumbled into the fantastic Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in San Diego. The bookseller pointed me to three new-to-me series and I’ve been hooked on Rivers of London ever since.

The synopsis below contains some spoilers for previous books, though I did try to edit out some of the biggest bombshells.

Join Peter Grant, detective and apprentice wizard, for a brand new case . . .36534574.jpg

[Spoiler], aka the Faceless Man, wanted for multiple counts of murder, fraud, and crimes against humanity, has been unmasked and is on the run. Peter Grant, Detective Constable and apprentice wizard, now plays a key role in an unprecedented joint operation to bring [Spoiler] to justice.

But even as the unwieldy might of the Metropolitan Police bears down on its foe, Peter uncovers clues that [Spoiler], far from being finished, is executing the final stages of a long term plan. A plan that has its roots in London’s two thousand bloody years of history, and could literally bring the city to its knees.

To save his beloved city Peter’s going to need help from his former best friend and colleague who brutally betrayed him and everything he thought she believed in. And, far worse, he might even have to come to terms with the malevolent supernatural killer and agent of chaos known as Mr Punch . . .

Lies Sleeping is the conclusion of the first major act in the Rivers of London series, and neatly sets up for the beginning of another act.

Lies Sleeping is not as action packed as previous Rivers of London books and instead focuses more on character growth and connection. This isn’t to say that the stakes aren’t high and there are no magical battles or chases – it’s impossible to leave out those elements completely, but the story finds most of the development in conversations between Peter and other characters, especially those of the demi-monde. Just as Peter says, most of the work in solving a crime is talking to people, and that’s how he spends most of his time in Lies Sleeping. 

Like most RoL novels, there’s a lot of history and architecture packed into the story, but for the first time it felt like too much. The story kind of dragged and meandered and I found myself skimming some of the esoterica rather than raptly absorbing it as context for the larger story.

All that being said, I really enjoyed Lies Sleeping and am already desperate for another installment. I’ll have to tide myself over with the comics in the meantime.

Lies Sleeping hits shelves in the US on November 20.

Thank you to  DAW for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review. 

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