Peter Grant is a probationary officer with the London Metropolitan Police when he, one night takes a witness statement from an individual who just happens to be a ghost. Unusual as this is, it saves Peter from a life of tedium in the Case Progression Unit (basically doing other cops’ paperwork for them) and to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, who just happens to be a wizard. Peter becomes the first wizard’s apprentice in England for more than 50 years, but Harry Potter this is not.
Some malevolent supernatural force is possessing individuals all over London, causing riots, unrest and death. The victims of the possession end up dead with their faces collapsed. There appears to be no clear connection between the crimes and the victims, but Peter and his fellow Detective Constable Leslie May investigate as best they can. Peter is also learning what it means to be a wizard – mainly a lot of tedious Latin study, reading history of magic text books and hours and hours of repetitive practise to do the most basic of spells. He does get to live in some very swanky digs with all his meals cooked by the silent and mysterious Molly and once he gets broadband and cable TV installed in parts of the house, things are looking pretty promising. Occasionally he even gets to drive Nightingale’s flashy Jaguar.
As well as learning the basics of magic and trying to solve the strange and violent murders, Peter needs to help Nightingale negotiate a truce between Old Father Themes and Mama Themes, who are in disagreement as to who has control of the river and the city of London. The conflict needs to be resolved before their children come to blows.
Full review here.