Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch is not at all my normal read and I was attracted by the title because I am very interested in ‘lost’ or hidden rivers. It is not just London which has hidden rivers, even our little village of Uphill has water courses which appear on old maps but now seem to have gone completely underground… except when they emerge inconveniently after heavy rain, inconveniently like in our neighbour’s back garden! It is not like any other book I have read… except maybe Peter Straub ‘Shadowland’ which is a favourite of mine.
Rivers of London is not exactly a police procedural, although the main characters are London policemen, it is not exactly a fairy story, although there is plenty of magic, it is not exactly a horror story although some of it is truly horrid… I can’t tell you what genre it fits. It is difficult to describe or even to give excerpts without misleading and suggesting it is something that it isn’t. The characters are real… and yet quite extraordinary… It is about the rivers of London, the Fleet, the Tyburn the Thames all feature… but maybe not as you might expect!
A friend had read it and had said it was gripping, and gripping it is; I was pulled into it from the first page and am enjoying every page subsequent to that one. I have not quite finished it, but I know that when I do I have other books in the same series to read… hurrah!