Moon Over Soho is the second outing for PC Peter Grant and remains as fun the first, retaining the same sense of humour while adding a spot of world-building and introducing of a potential Big Bad for the series.
Peter and his friends are still recovering from the aftermath of the events of Rivers of London – Nightingale is recuperating well but Lesley is hiding herself from the world and placing all of her hopes on magic to restore her to her previous self. But London’s supernatural citizens aren’t resting – jazz musicians keep dropping dead just after gigs, while elsewhere men keep turning up with their penises bitten off. It’s down to Peter to investigate while his mentor regroups, which is how he finds himself rubbing up against voluptuous jazz groupies and Soho gangsters, while coming to the realisation that British magic isn’t quite as dead as he and Nightingale had supposed.
These books are proving to be brilliant fun, making me snort my appreciation at least once a page (much to the consternation of my fellow bus passengers) and serving as perfect pieces of brain sorbet to refresh my palate in between heavier fayre. It’s also refreshing to see that Aaronovitch can consistently deliver in the feels department too, with the endings of both Rivers of London and Moon Over Soho delivering a surprising amount of emotional wallop to lend some weight to the series. I’m enjoying how the world is slowly expanding, promising to introduce a wild variety of the not-quite-human in following books, and I’m already eager to see how Lesley’s revelation come the end of this pans out (and whether Abigail might follow through on her vow to learn Latin and pop up again somewhere down the line).
Meanwhile, in my continued imaginary casting of the TV adaptation, Richard Ayoade’s leading man is joined by Christina Hendricks as the lovely Simone.