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

Saturday, February 18, 2017

2017/17: The Hanging Tree -- Ben Aaronovitch

We’d been reluctant to employ a forensic psychologist because of the well-founded fear that they might section us for believing in fairies.
Following the events of Foxglove Summer, Peter Grant has returned to London. Lady Tyburn (one of the river goddesses of London) calls in a favour: her daughter Olivia was at a party where a young woman died in suspicious circumstances, and Lady Ty wants Peter to ensure that Olivia is not implicated in the investigation.

Turns out the dead girl has traces of magic about her: which might, thinks Peter, be another lead in his ongoing investigation of the Faceless Man. Working with DI Sahra Guleed, he uncovers some troubling connections that date back to the 'Tyburn Tree' executions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and to the lost ledger of 'Thief-Taker General' Jonathan Wild. Reynard the Fox pops up again: so does Lesley: there is more Nightingale. And there is progress, at last, on the mystery of the Faceless Man.

The Hanging Tree addresses the institutionalised sexism of British magic, and introduces more female characters. There's more sense of the wider world, too, with discussion of American practitioners and their views on European matters.

I'm not sure that reading four Aaronovitch novels back to back was the best way to appreciate them, but it distracted me from illness and kept me entertained and intrigued. And I'm looking forward to The Furthest Station, due in September ...

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