Midnight Riot

Midnight Riot

Paperback - 2011
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"As a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic"--P. [4] of cover.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Del Rey, c2011
ISBN: 9780345524256
Branch Call Number: Fiction Aaronovitch Pbk
Characteristics: 310 p. ; 18 cm


From Library Staff

pima006 Oct 09, 2014

New cop PC Grant joins a special division for dealing with the "Otherside" of London.

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IndyPL_SteveB May 24, 2019

First in a witty urban fantasy/cop story set in London and environs. It’s in the same literary territory as Jim Butcher’s “Dresden Files” (set in Chicago) and Douglas Adams’s “Dirk Gently” books, but with its own cleverness. Peter Grant is a London Constable assigned to guard the location of a grisly murder and discovers he can talk to ghosts. It turns out that Peter has other latent abilities and he is selected by Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale to join him as an apprentice wizard to solve crimes and deal with the supernatural in London. The first case is a tough one, since the perpetrator appears to be a long dead actor controlling people to kill others in a theatrical style. At the same time, the Goddess of the lower Thames is having a row with the God of the upper Thames. They each have children who might be thought of as the spirits of the rivers which feed into the Thames. Peter gets involved in mediating the dispute.

Lots of plot complications, some violent murders, and some very funny writing in the distinctive British style. Uniquely, Peter is mixed race and very into both jazz and African music.

I would note that the “f-word” is used quite liberally, for those who are sensitive to that.

Apr 25, 2019

(Review Not on Blog)

I picked up the paperback at the library just based on the cover. I love libraries for that reason. You can pick a book based on a cover and not have to hate yourself when the book falls flat. This was a quick read, but am not sure I want to continue the series. While I liked the supernatural/paranormal element and the suspense, I am was not crazy with the author's humour (or in my own opinion, lack thereof). It is for fans who like Harry Dresden, and/or Dr. Who (as he is one of the writers for the show).

IndyPL_ToddG Apr 23, 2019

Darkly humorous entry into the "urban fantasy" genre, as Constable Peter Grant is assigned to a division of the London police force that investigates criminal activity with a supernatural element. Along the way, Grant interacts with quirky human characters as well as characters that are bit more out of the ordinary. The novel incorporates a great sense of place as Grant's investigation leads him to interesting locations within the city.

Apr 21, 2018

I devoured this series, but I really wish it was filed under SF/Fantasy instead of MYS. And I also REALLY, REALLY wish the library had hardbacks instead of the small paperbacks. I skipped over the series several times because of that, but finally after reading yet another review decided to check it out.

I love mysteries, especially gritty British mysteries like Ian Rankin's Rebus series, but I have a soft spot for urban fantasy and magical realism, too, like Charles DeLint's work or Alice Hoffman and Harry Potter. This series takes a London urban fantasy and crosses it with a British police procedural and adds a lot of humor. It's fast-paced and funny with a likeable main character in Peter Grant, and also his boss Nightingale. Lots of wizardry and witchcraft. Recommended for fans of fantasy and Dr Who!

The author, Ben Aaronovitch, wrote several episodes of Dr Who and, although the series doesn't have any time travel that I recall, it's got that feel of action/fantasy-sci-fi/humor. Two thumbs up from me.

Oh, and there are several graphic novels based on this series. I would love to see the CH Library acquire those. Highly recommend!

Feb 14, 2018

I enjoyed reading this one as it featured a main character who wasn’t your typical anti-hero - which we seem to have a lot lately. I’m glad to see Peter was just your average good guy who’s doing his best to be a policeman until he comes across supernatural things in which his whole life changes.

Peter’s relationship with Nightingale is pretty much a mentor/student one. Nightingale has his own secrets though and a few are revealed but there’s more to him that you think - I hope there’s more information about him in the later books to come. There are other supporting characters; I do like Leslie because she’s got the wit (possible love interest, maybe) and she’s a perfect sidekick to Peter. Molly is another interesting character that I would love to know more about. Again this is the first book in the series so I’m hoping more character development will eventually come forth in later books.

The world building is pretty good and Peter does a good job also explaining how things are in London (I admit I had to google a couple of things as I didn’t know who or what Punch and Judy were) but it gives you information on the city and events that are common there to actually make you feel as if you are following Peter around as he tries to solve the case and becomes an apprentice.

The plot was well done and I liked how the different story arcs come together in the end into one large circle. It may seem confusing at first but once you have everything laid out and you know who is who everything comes to a close and it’s a great closing. It obviously leaves room for more books coming so one can look forward to what is next for Peter.

(The Riot scene though? Holyyyyy sheeeeeee what the……)

It’s a good read, those who are into urban fantasy mysteries will likely like this type of book. Looking forward to book two!

May 13, 2017

At one time I was a big fan of fantasy and the supernatural. Now I am more into realistic detective fiction. I thought this book might be a good mash-up of the two genres. I just couldn't get into Midnight Riot. I couldn't get lost in the world because I struggled with suspension of disbelief. Oh well. There only a zillion books about the detectives I enjoy.

Aug 13, 2016

British humour meets mystery meets wizardry. The mystery keeps you reading and the characters and humour give it a great buzz

May 05, 2016


27/9 - For the first 100 pages this was a laugh-a-page kind of book with a similar sense of humour to Jasper Fforde's books (without the literary references). The hilarity calmed down through the rest of the book till it was at the level of a snort here and there, no full-bellied laughs like there were to begin with. I wish the possessed one hadn't had to have been Lesley, but once I realised it was I thought for sure she was going to die, so when she made it through to the end of the book I was pleasantly surprised. I'm still not sure I understand exactly what/who Punch was. Once Grant realised that there was a puppet master behind Henry Pyke and worked out that it was Punch he called him something along the lines of 'the spirit of mischief', so if he 'killed' the 'spirit of mischief' does that mischief out of the world. I got a bit confused somewhere there. I might go back and reread Punch's explanation before I return the book to the library.

Okay, I've found the scene I was looking for

"We are playing our role," said Lesley. "We are Mr Punch, the irrepressible spirit of riot and rebellion. It is our nature to cause trouble, just as it is your nature to try and stop us."

So, when Grant finally manages to grab Mr Punch and drag him through time and this happens

'This is not a person, I told myself, and drove the pilum into Mr Punch's chest. There was no blood, but I felt the shock as it pierced the skin, muscle and finally the wooden planking of the bridge itself. The revenant spirit of riot and rebellion was pinned like a butterfly in its display case.'

That last scene implies to me that Mr Punch was killed, but I don't see how you can kill the spirit of riot and rebellion, or if you even should (the occasional bit of rebellion can be useful, although rioting not so much). That small question of logic and the lower level of hilarity after the first 100 pages is why I couldn't give this five stars. Definitely going to read the next book in the series.

Feb 27, 2016

Just delightful - a well-plotted mystery, unexpected twists, good fantasy/magic elements, strong characterization (incl. a poc protagonist, mixed English/Sierra Leonean).

Feb 07, 2016

Charmer of a read, with a wonderful array of unusual characters, a delightful mix of urban fantasy and police procedural, and enough strange British complexity and history to send you happily to Wikipedia and/or a map.

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Oct 01, 2016

Benvolia thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Nov 03, 2014

natasha67 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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ITDBibCommons8 Mar 31, 2014

A bit like a Muggle policeman finding out about the Aurors, if they were founded by Sir Isaac Newton and had to interview rivers.


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