Saturday, February 16, 2019

Book Review: Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

Broken Homes
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Series: PC Peter Grant, Book 4
Publication: DAW; Reissue edition (February 4, 2014)

Description: A mutilated body in Crawley. A killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, possibly an associate of the twisted wizard known as the Faceless Man. Or maybe just a garden-variety serial killer.

Before apprentice wizard and Police Constable Peter Grant can even get his head 'round the case, two more are dropped in his lap: a town planner has gone under a tube train, and there's a stolen grimoire for Grant to track down.

So far, so London.

But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the truly desperate.

Is there a connection?

And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River—in the jurisdiction of some pretty prickly local river spirits?

My Thoughts: In this episode of the Peter Grant series, Peter, Leslie and Nightingale come closer to finding the Faceless Man. First, is the case of one of the Little Crocodiles is found after a car crash with unexplained blood in the back seat of his car which leads to a body with its face blown off. Next comes a man from the town planning commission who inexplicably throws himself under a train. Then the thief who stole a rare magical grimoire is found burned from the inside out.

These things come together and lead Peter and Leslie to stake out an odd architectural structure called the Skygarden Tower that was built by Erik Stromberg, German expatriot and famous architect. The building has been listed as a historical monument which is getting in the way of developers who want to use the land for something else. It also seems to be something that the Faceless Man is very interested in.

Peter and Lesley need to find out why the Faceless Man wants the building and stop him before his plans are completed.

Along the way, there are river spirits and tree spirits and a Zach, who is half human and half something else. Then, there's Toby the magic sniffing dog.

The book has all of Peter's snarky comments and lots of action. For those reading the series in publication order, the ending comes as quite a surprise.

Favorite Quote:

"You don't call ahead if you can avoid it, on account of it always being better to arrive on someone's doorstep as a horrid surprise. Things generally go smoother if the people you're talking to don't have a chance to rehearse their alibis, think about what they're going to say, hide evidence, bury body parts - that sort of thing."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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