No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Friday, February 17, 2017

2017/16: Foxglove Summer -- Ben Aaronovitch

Nightingale calls them the fae but that's a catch-all term like the way the Greeks used the word 'barbarian' or the Daily Mail uses 'Europe'. [loc. 260]
Foxglove Summer is quite a departure from the previous novels in the series. After the traumatic events at the end of Broken Homes, Peter Grant is sent to rural Herefordshire to investigate whether a local wizard (retired) is involved in the disappearance of two young girls. Nightingale -- who barely appears in this novel, boo -- may also be giving Peter a break from 'the usual' for compassionate reasons; and there are new threats facing the Folly, which Peter may not be ready to deal with.

So off Peter goes to the surprisingly unmagical countryside. He speaks to the parents of Nicole Lacey (who had an imaginary friend, Princess Luna) and Hannah Marstowe: he encounters some of the local watercourses: he talks to the retired wizard (who provides more backstory on Nightingale's past) and to his granddaughter, who has a way with bees. He's joined by Beverley Brook, who encourages him to face up to the grief and rage he's been suppressing. And he solves the case -- for values of 'solves' that include 'works out what happened'. We don't get to find out why it happened.

As a Rivers of London book I think I'd find this slightly disappointing: two of my major interests (Nightingale and London itself) are absent. But as an admirer of Tana French's In the Woods, I was fascinated: this novel, in some respects, was the inverse of that one, and though it has a happier ending and a great deal more overt magic, the same sense of brooding fear is there.

Also, Princess Luna? Yay!

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